Skip to main content

Full text of "Pliny Natural History Volume III"

See other formats


570     P?2a     v.3 


Keep  Your  Card  in  This  Pocket 


may  ,b* 

or  two  Wife    BorrowerB  f  indl  ng  books 
are  exected  to  re 


responBibl©  for  aUbooi^  drawn 


and  ahange  of  reskfeaoe  must  be 


A&W'V&wwv^     ^iirm9f'3[-  ••    pcpppijpl?1 


»5 


|j  -v 


3  1148  00741  687 


'  »  I 

hi  a 


i?  22  ;:0w> 

MAI  FEB  08 1991 
MAI  FEB  1  6  1993 

.  MAI  MAR  021993 


THE  LOEB  CLASSICAL  -LIBRARY 

FOUNDED    BY    JAMBS    LOKB,    IX.D. 

EDITED    BY 
fT.    E.   PAGE,  C.H.,   LITT.B. 

E.  CAPPS,  PH.D.,  LL.D.      W.  H.  D.  BOUSE,  LITT.D. 
L.  A.  POST,  H.A.  E.  H.  WARMINGTON,  M.A. 


PLINY 

NATURAL   HISTORY 

III 

LIBRI  YIII-XI 


PLINY 

NATURAL    HISTORY 

WITH    AN    ENGLISH    TRANSLATION 
IN    TEN   VOLUMES 


VOLUME  lit 
LIBRI   VIII-XI 

BY 

IL    RACKHAM,    M.A. 

MffitJ.OW  OF1  CHIUSr'S   COLLKGK,   CAMBIUDaK 


LONDON 

WILLIAM    HK1NKMANN    LTD 

rAMBUlDGE,    MASSACHUSETTS 

HARVARD     UNIVERSITY     PRESS 

MOMXL 


Printnl  in  Grtoi  Bnt&in 


PREFACE 

TRANSLATIONS  are  usually  designed  either  to  present 
the  thought  of  a  foreign  writer  in  the  English  most 
appropriate  to  it,  without  regard  to  the  peculiarities 
of  his  style  (so  far  as  style  and  thought  can  be  dis- 
tinguished), or,  on  the  contrary,  to  convey  to  the 
English  reader,  as  far  as  is  possible,  the  style  as  well 
as  the  thought  of  the  foreign  original. 

It  would  seem,  however,  that  neither  of  these 
objects  should  be  the  primary  aim  of  a  translator 
constructing  a  version  that  is  to  be  printed  facing  the 
original  text.  In  these  circumstances  the  purpose 
of  the  version  is  to  assist  the  reader  of  the  original 
to  understand  its  meaning.  This  modest  intention 
must  guide  the  choice  of  a  rendering  for  each  phrase 
or  sentence,  and  considerations  of  English  style  are 
of  necessity  secondary. 

A  few  biographical  notes  on  persons  mentioned 
by  the  author  will  be  found  in  the  index. 


NOTE  ON  NOMENCLATURE 

In  identifying  the  zoological  sptr.ictt  described  in  thw  volume 
I  am  indebted  for  did  to  mi/  friend*  find  totfatfrtw  Jlr.  */*  2\ 
jftowflfltefrtt,  tfl/b  ^$#  (jrrwtf  through  the  whoh  and  gir&n  m&  the 
modern  equivalents  of  the  Latin  wwea ;  altfmtgh  /te  twm«  ti^f 
that  in  a  good  wiany  ca$eft  the  %d$ntifiG($tion  is  d&u&tful. 

Thwe  are  consequemUy  some  discrepancies  belitmn  the  nmwn- 
clature,  in  the,  tran$la£ian  here  and  tfuti  wed  in  Bnok  f,  i!Ae 
Table  of  Contents.  Pliny  jwemm&hly  compiled  %t  afitr  rom- 
pitting  the  rest  of  the  uwr& ;  but  (t$  tditorial  exig&mi&s  pw&twi&i 
the  pofitptftiement  of  Volume  I  of  tM#  translation  till  the  (tihtr* 
mr&  finished 1 1  had  to  b&  content,  for  Book  lt  with  th&  r$nd$ring® 
given  in  Lewiti  and  $hort  or  in  Rostock  rtw!  jKil^y^  tranrftttinn* 

H.  B. 


CONTENTS 


IPREIB'AOE        .,„..... 

PAQK 
Y 

INTRODUCTION         »      .      *      .      , 

......       is 

BOOK  VIII     

1 

BOOK  IX        . 

163 

BOOK  3C   

291 

BOOK  XI        , 431 

INDEX ,      .      .      ^      .      613 


Vll 


INTRODUCTION 

THIS  volume  contains  Books  VIII-XI  of  Pliny's 
Naturalis  Historia\  their  subject  is  Zoology. 

The  detailed  contents  will  be  found  in  Pliny's 
own  outline  of  his  work,  which,  with  lists  of  the 
authorities  used  for  each  Book,  constitutes  Book  I; 
for  Books  VIII-XI  see  Volume  I,  pp.  40-64,  of  this 
edition. 

Book  VIII  deals  with  various  mammals,  wild  and 
domesticated;  and  among  them  are  introduced 
snakes,  crocodiles  and  lizards. 

Book  IX  treats  aquatic  species,  including  Nereids, 
Tritons  and  the  sea-serpent.  There  are  considerable 
passages  on  their  economic  aspects — the  use  of  fish 
as  food,  pearls,  dyes  obtained  from  fish,  and  on  their 
physiology,  sensory  and  reproductive. 

Book  X.  Ornithology  :  hawks  trained  for  fowling ; 
birds  of  evil  omen ;  domestication  of  birds  for  food ; 
talking  birds;  reproduction.  Appendix  on  other 
viviparous  species,  passing  on  to  animals  in  general 
— their  methods  of  reproduction,  senses,  nutrition, 
friendship  and  hostility  between  different  species, 
sleep. 

Book  XL  Insects,  their  physiology  and  habits — 
especially  bees,  silk-worms,  spiders.  Classification 
of  animals  by  varieties  of  bodily  structure — animal 
and  human  physiology. 


IX 


PLINY  : 
NATURAL    HISTORY 

BOOK   VIII 


VOL,  III. 


PL1NU:    NATURALIS    HISTORIA 
I.I  HER  VIII 

I,  AD  reliqua  Iranseamus  anhnalia  rt  primum 
tervostria. 

Maximum  csi  dephans  proximumquo  humanis 
sensibus,  quippe  intellect  us  illis  sermonis  patrii  et 
hnpcrioruiu  obcdientia,  oftieiorum  (juao  didk'civ 
inomovia,  ainoris  et  gloviae  vuluptas,  hnino  vero 
qviae  otiuiu  in  homine  rani,  probitas,  prudcntia, 
aequitfts,  roligio  quoqut1,  siclerum  solistjiu*.  ac  lunac 

2  voncratio.  auctin-cs  stint  in  Mauretaniae  saltibus 
acl  quondam  amncrn  cui  notnon  est  Anulo  niU'so<*nt<* 
lima  nova  grogcs  eorum  divscondcri^  ibiquo  se  puri- 
ficnntes  sollemniter  aqua  eircimmpergi  atqu«  it  a 
salutato  sidore  in  silvas  rovcrti  vitulorum  faiigatos 

l\  prae  so  lorenlcs.  alienae  quoquc  vcligioiiis  Intel- 
lectu  creduniuv  maria  transit uri  non  ante  navcvs  con- 
Kcenclere  qtwm  invilati  reotoris  iuroiurando  de  reditu* 
visique  simt  fessi  aegritudine  (quando  et  illas  moles 
infestant  niorbi)  herbas  supini  in  oaelunx  iadentes, 


PLINY:    NATURAL   HISTORY 


BOOK  VIII 

I.  LET  us  pass  to  the  rest  of  the  animals,  and  first  zoology. 
those  that  live  on  land,  2^ 

The  largest  land  animal  is  the  elephant,  and  it  is  The  tie- 
the  nearest  to  man  in  intelligence :  it  understands  ' 
the  language  of  its  country  and  obeys  orders3  remem-  [ 
bers  duties  that  it  has  been  taught,  is  pleased  by 
affection  and  by  marks  of  honour,  nay  more  it 
possesses  virtues  rare  even  in  man,  honesty,  wis- 
dom, justice,  also  respect  for  the  stars  and  reverence 
for  the  sun  and  moon.  Authorities  state  that  in 
the  forests  of  Mauretania,  when  the  new  moon  is 
shining,  herds  of  elephants  go  down  to  a  river  named 
Amilo  and  there  perform  a  ritual  of  purification, 
sprinkling  themselves  with  water,  and  after  thus 
paying  their  respects  to  the  moon  return  to  the 
woods  carrying  before  them  those  of  their  calves 
who  are  tired.  They  are  also  believed  to  understand 
the  obligations  of  another's  religion  in  so  far  as  to 
refuse  to  embark  on  board  ships  when  going  overseas 
before  they  are  lured  on  by  the  mahout's  sworn 
promise  in  regard  to  their  return,  And  they  have 
been  seen  when  exhausted  by  suffering  (as  even 
those  vast  frames  are  attacked  by  diseases)  to  lie 
on  their  backs  and  throw  grass  up  to  the  heaven, 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

vcluti  iclluro  preeilms  allegata.  nam  quod  ml 
doeiliiutcm  at  thief  regain  adorant,  genua  submit  tunU 
coronas  porrigunt.  hulls  arant  minores,  quo**  appel- 
lant no  thus. 

4  TI,  Romae  iunoti  priinuin  subiere  eurrum  Pompei 
Magni  Africano  tviumpho,  quod  prius  India  victa 
triumphant  e  Libero  patre  memoratur.  Prociliu^ 
negat  potuisse  Pompoi  triumplio  iunotos  ogredi 
port  a.  (Jennaniei  Cacsaris  muncre  gladiatono  quos- 
dam  ctiam  inconditos  meatus1  edidere  saltanthnn 

r>  modo,  vulgare  crat  per  auras  anna  iaccrc  non 
aufor<*nlil)iis  vcntis  atque  Inter  se  gladiatorios  con- 
gressas  edcre  aut  lascivicnti  pyrriche  conludere. 
postea  (it  per  funes  inccssere,  lecticis  etiaiu  fiTcntt\s 
quaterni  singulos  puerperas  imitant(»s,  ploniKquc 
homine  tricliniis  accubiium  ierc  per  lectos  it  a  libra  Hs 

i>  vestigils  ne  quls  potantium  nttingeretur.  III* 
Cerium  esfc  unum  tardioris  ingenti  in  accipicndi^ 
quae  tradebantur  saepius  castigatum  verberibus 
eadem  ilia  meditantcm  noct.u  rcpcrtum.  minwn 
et  advcrsis  quidcm  funibus  subirc,  sed  maxime  * 
regredi,3  utiquc  pronis,  Mucianus  ni  constil  auot<ir 
csfc  aliquem  ex  his  efe  litterarum  ductu-s  Graeearum 
didioisse  solitutnquc  pcrscribere  eitis  linguae  verbis : 

1  vj.  mottis. 

8  maxnno  hie  Mayhoff:  paxt  nii 
i  magis. 


BOOK  VIII.  i.  3-in.  6 

as  though  deputing  the  earth  to  support  their  prayers. 
Indeed  so  far  as  concerns  docility,  they  do  homage 
to  their  king  by  kneeling  before  him  and  proffering 
garlands.  The  Indians  employ  the  smaller  breed, 
which  they  call  the  bastard  elephant,  for  ploughing.  /S?/n 

II.  At  Rome  they  were  first  used  in  harness  to  y*"%om 
draw  the  chariot  of  Pompey  the  Great  in  his  African  for  shows. 
triumph,  as  they  are  recorded  to  have  been  used 
before  when  Father  Liber  went  in  triumph  after 
his  conquest  of  India.  Procilius  states  that  at 
Pompey 's  triumph  the  team  of  elephants  were 
unable  to  pass  out  through  the  gate.  At  the  gladia- 
torial show  given  by  Germanicus  Caesar  some  even 
performed  clumsy  movements  in  figures,  like  dancers. 
It  was  a  common  display  for  them  to  hurl  weapons 
through  the  air  without  the  wind  making  them 
swerve,  and  to  perform  gladiatorial  matches  with  one 
another  or  to  play  together  in  a  sportive  war-dance. 
Subsequently  they  even  walked  on  tight-ropes,  four 
at  a  time  actually  carrying  in  a  litter  one  that  pre- 
tended to  be  a  lady  lying-in ;  and  walked  among  the 
couches  in  dining-rooms  full  of  people  to  take  their 
places  among  the  guests,  planting  their  steps  care- 
fully so  as  not  to  touch  any  of  the  drinking  party. 
III.  It  is  known  that  one  elephant  which  was  rather  instances  o/ 
slow-witted  in  understanding  instructions  given  to  it  p'~ 
and  had  been  punished  with  repeated  beatings,  was 
found  in  the  night  practising  the  same.  It  is  sur- 
prising that  they  can  even  climb  up  ropes,  but  especi- 
ally that  they  can  come  down  them  again,  at  all 
events  when  they  are  stretched  at  a  slope.  Mucianus 
who  was  three  times  consul  states  that  one  elephant 
actually  learnt  the  shapes  of  the  Greek  letters,  and 
used  to  write  out  in  words  of  that  language :  *  I  myself 

5 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

Ipsc  ego  haee  scvipsi  oi  spolia  Celtica  dioa\i,'  if  cin- 
que se  vidcnto  Puteolis,  cum  aclvecti  c  nave  egredi 
cogerentnr,  territos  spatio  pontis  proeul  a  continence 
porrecti,  ut  sese  longinquitatis  aesliniationo  fallcrcnt, 
awrsos  i*etrorsus  isse. 

7  IV.  Pniodain  ipsi  in  se  cxpott'iiduin  soiinit  solam 
esse  in  armis  suis  quae  luha  cornua  nppollat,  llrrodo- 
tuH  tanto  atiti(iiiior  <kl  consuetudo  molius  dcntcs; 
quamobrcin  dociduos  casu  altquo  vel  sencota  drft>di- 
\int.  hoc  soluni  cbur  cst  :  cclero  ci  in  his  (ju<x|uc 
quae  corpus  intcxit  vililas  osso.a;  (juaniquain  nuper 
ossa  ctiam  in  laininas  seoari  coepero  pacnuria^ot'onitn 
rara  amplitude  iani  dcnt.iutn  praiitcrquain  ex  ladin 
repcrihir,  cetera  in  nostro  orbc  ccssore  luxtiriat\ 

S  dcntium  candore  intellcgitur  iuvcnhi.  circa  hos 
bcluis  sununa  cura:  alteiius  mucroni  parcuni  ne  sit 
proeliis  hobes,  altcrhis  operario  usu  fodiuut  radices, 
inpcllunt  moles ;  circnmventique  a  vanantibun  primes 
constiiuunt  quibus  sint  minumi,  ne  tanti  proelium 
putctm%  postea  fcssi  inpactos  arbori  frangunt  pracda- 
qtio  se  redimunt, 

0      V.  Mirum   in   plerisque    animalium   scire   quare 

«  in,  07, 


BOOK  VIII.  ni.  6-v.  9 

wrote  this  and  dedicated  these  spoils  won  from  the 
Celts ; f  and  also  that  he  personally  had  seen  elephants 
that,  when  having  been  brought  by  sea  to  Pozzuoli 
they  were  made  to  walk  off  the  ship,  were  frightened 
by  the  length  of  the  gangway  stretching  a  long  way 
out  from  the  land  and  turned  round  and  went 
backwards,  so  as  to  cheat  themselves  in  their  estima- 
tion of  the  distance, 

IV.  They  themselves  know  that  the  only  thing  in 
them  that  makes  desirable  plunder  is  in  their  weapons 
which  Juba  calls  '  horns,5  but  which  the  author  so 
greatly  his  senior,  Herodotus,0  and  also  common  usage 
better  term  '  tusks ; '  consequently  when  these  fall 
off  owing  to  some  accident  or  to  age  they  bury  them 
in  the  ground.    The  tusk  alone  is  of  ivory :  otherwise 
even  in  these  animals  too  the  skeleton  forming  the 
framework  of  the  body  is  common  bone;    albeit 
recently  owing  to  our  poverty  even  the  bones  have 
begun  to  be  cut  into  layers,  inasmuch  as  an  ample 
supply  of  tusks  is  now  rarely  obtained  except  from 
India,  all  the  rest  in  our  world  having  succumbed  to 
luxury.    A  young  elephant  is  known  by  the  white- 
ness of  its  tusks,    The  beasts  take  the  greatest  care  of 
them;   they  spare  the  point  of  one  so  that  it  may 
not  be  blunt  for  fighting  and  use  the  other  as  an 
implement  for  digging  roots  and  thrusting  massive 
objects  forward;   and  when  surrounded  by  a  party 
of  hunters  they  post  those  with  the  smallest  tusks 
in  front,  so  that  it  may  be  thought  not  worth  while 
to  fight  them,  and  afterwards  when  exhausted  they 
break  their  tusks  by  dashing  them  against  a  tree 
and  ransom  themselves  at  the  price  of  the  desired 
booty. 

V.  It  is  remarkable  in  the  case  of  most  animals 

7 


PLINY;  t  NATURAL  HISTORY 

petantur,  seel  et  fere l  euneta  quid  eaveant*  elephants 
hominc  obvio  forte  in  solitudine  et  shnplieiter 
oberrante  demons  plueidusque  etium  demonstrate 
viam  traditur,  idem  vestigio  hominis  animadverso 
prius  qunm  homine  inlremeseere  insidiarum  meiu, 
subsistere  olfaelu,2  eireumspeetare,  Iras  proflare, 
nee  calcare  sed  erutum  proxumo  tradere,  ilium 
scquexati,  simili  mm  Ho  usque  acl  cxtremum,  tune 
agmen  ciroumagi  et  rcvcrti  acioinquc  dirigi :  adeo 
omnium  odori  clurare  virus  illud,  maiorc  ex  parle  ne 
30  nudorum  quidem  pedum.  sic  et  tigris,  etiam  fens 
eeteris  truculenta  atque  ipsa  ele.phanti  quoque 
spernens  vestigia,  hominis  viso  transfcrre  dieitur  pro- 
tinus  catulos— quonam  modo  agnito,  ubi  ante  con- 
speeto  illo  quem  limet?  ctonim  tales  silvas  minime 
frequentari  certum  cst.  sane  mirentur  ipsam  vestigii 
raritatem;  sed  unde  sennit  timcndum  esse?  ixnmo 
vero  cur  vel  ipsius  conspectum  paveant  tanto 
viribus,  magnitudine,  veloeitate  praestantiores  ?  nimi- 
runi  liaee  est  natura  reruxii,  haec  potentia  eius, 
saevissimas  feramm  maximasque  numquam  vidlsse 
quod  debeant  timere  et  statim  intellegere  cum  sit 
timondum. 

1  &alm. :  ot  per.  *  v.L  ah  olfactu. 


BOOK  VIII.  v.  9-10 

that  they  know  why  they  are  hunted,  but  also  that  Elephants 
almost  all  know  what  they  must  beware  of.  It  is  said  {^4. 
that  when  an  elephant  accidentally  meets  a  human 
being  who  is  merely  wandering  across  its  track  in  a 
solitary  place  it  is  good-tempered  and  peaceful  and 
will  actually  show  the  way ;  but  that  when  on  the  other 
hand  it  notices  a  man's  footprint  before  it  sees  the 
man  himself  it  begins  to  tremble  in  fear  of  an  ambush, 
stops  to  sniff  the  scent,  gazes  round,  trumpets 
angrily,  and  avoids  treading  on  the  footprint  but 
digs  it  up  and  passes  it  to  the  next  elephant,  and 
that  one  to  the  following,  and  on  to  the  last  of  all 
with  a  similar  message,  and  then  the  column  wheels 
round  and  retires  and  a  battle  line  is  formed :  since 
the  smell  in  question  lasts  to  be  scented  by  them  all, 
though  in  the  majority  of  cases  it  is  not  even  the 
smell  of  bare  feet.  Similarly  a  tigress  also,  it  is 
said,  even  though  savage  to  all  other  animals  and 
herself  scorning  the  footprints  even  of  an  elephant, 
when  she  sees  the  track  of  a  human  being  at  once 
carries  her  cubs  elsewhere — though,  how  has  she 
recognized  or  where  has  she  seen  before  the  person 
that  she  fears  ?  For  it  is  certain  that  such  forests  are 
very  little  frequented.  Granted  that  no  doubt  they 
may  be  surprised  by  the  mere  rarity  of  the  print ; 
but  how  do  they  know  that  it  is  something  to  be 
afraid  of?  Indeed  there  is  a  further  point,  why 
should  they  dread  even  the  sight  of  a  man  himself 
when  they  excel  him  so  greatly  in  strength,  size  and 
speed?  Doubtless  it  is  Nature's  law  and  shows  her 
power,  that  the  fiercest  and  largest  wild  beasts  may 
have  never  seen  a  thing  that  they  ought  to  fear  and 
yet  understand  immediately  wnen  they  have  to 
fear  it. 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

11  Klephanti  gregatim  semper  ingredumtur;  dueit 
agmcn  maxhmis  natu,  oogit  aetat  e  pro\imus.  amnem 
transituri  minhnos  praemiltunt,  ne  maiorum  ingressu 
atterente  alveum  ereseat  gurgitis  altitudo,  Antipaier 
auctor  csi  duos  Autiocho  irgi  in  bellicis  usil)us  ot'lehros 
ctiam  cognonunibus  fuisse  ;  ctonim  navrrc  ca.  c<krtc 
C'ato,  cum  inpcratoruni  nornina  annalibus  detraxrrit, 
ek'phantum l  qui  fortissini<*  proeliatu^  os^ef  in  Punicn 
acie  Syrum  tradidit  vocatum  allero  <k'ititv  mulilaio. 

IL*  Antiocho  vadum  fiuniints  exponent!  reuuit  Aia\, 
alioqui  dux  agminis  semper;  turn  pronuntiatuiu  eius 
fore  pricipatum  qui  transisset,  ausumque  Patroclum 
ob  id  phaleris  argent cis,  (juo  maxinie  gaudeni,  el 
rcliquo  omni  primatu  donavit.  illc  qui  not  abut  ur 
inedia  mortem  ignominiae  praetulit ;  mims  namque 
pudor  estj  victusque  voeem  fugit  viotoris,  terrain  no 

13  verbenas  porrigit.  pudore  mini(juani  nisi  in  abdito 
cocunt,  mas  qninquennisj  femina  deeennis;  initur 
atitem  biennio  quinis,  ut  fenmt,_  euius<jue  anni  diebus 
nee  amplius,  sexto  perfunduntur  amne,  non  ante 
reduces  ad  agmcn.  nee  adulteria  novere,  nullavts 
propter  fominas  inter  so  proelia  eeteris  animalibtis 


<*  Tlie  term  in  uned  of  branches  of  bay,  olive  and  other 
trees  used  for  ritual  purpoHoH. 

10 


BOOK  VIII.  v,  IT-IS 

Elephants  always  travel  in  a  herd;  the  oldest  its  mtti* 
leads  the  column  and  the  next  oldest  brings  up  the  lSmil?nse 
rear.  When  going'  to  ford  a  river  they  put  the  and  affection. 
smallest  in  front,  so  that  the  bottom  may  not  be 
worn  away  by  the  tread  of  the  larger  ones,  thus 
increasing  the  depth  of  the  water.  Antipater  states 
that  two  elephants  employed  for  military  purposes 
by  King  Antiochus  were  known  to  the  public  even 
by  name ;  indeed  they  know  their  own  names.  It  is 
a  fact  that  Cato,  although  he  has  removed  the 
names  of  military  commanders  from  his  Annals, 
has  recorded  that  the  elephant  in  the  Carthaginian 
army  that  was  the  bravest  in  battle  was  called  the 
Syrian,  and  that  it  had  one  broken  tusk.  When 
Antiochus  was  trying  to  ford  a  river  his  elephant 
Ajax  refused,  though  on  other  occasions  it  always 
led  the  line;  thereupon  Antiochus  issued  an 
announcement  that  the  elephant  that  crossed  should 
have  the  leading  place  and  he  rewarded  Patroclus, 
who  made  the  venture,  with  the  gift  of  silver  harness, 
an  elephant's  greatest  delight,  and  with  every  other 
mark  of  leadership.  The  one  disgraced  preferred 
death  by  starvation  to  humiliation ;  for  the  elephant 
has  a  remarkable  sense  of  shame,  and  when  defeated 
shrinks  from  the  voice  of  its  conqueror,  and  offers  him 
earth  and  foliage  .(Z  Owing  to  their  modesty,  elephants 
never  mate  except  in  secret,  the  male  at  the  age  of 
five  and  the  female  at  ten ;  and  mating  takes  place 
for  two  years,  on  five  days,  so  it  is  said,  of  each  year 
and  not  more;  and  on  the  sixth  day  they  give 
themselves  a  shower-bath  in  a  river,  not  returning 
to  the  herd  before.  Adultery  is  unknown  among 
them,  or  any  of  the  fighting  for  females  that  is  so 
disastrous  to  the  other  animals — though  not  because 

ii 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

pernieialia,  nee  quia  desit  illis  amoris  vis,  namque 
traditur  unus  amasse  quandam  in  Aogypto  eorallas 
vendentem  ac  (ne  quis  volgaritor  cleotam  putet) 
mire  gratam  Aristophani  eeleberrimo  in  arte  gramrna- 

14  tioa,    alius    Menandrum    Syracusanuni    incipientis 
iuventae  in  excrcitu  Ptolomaci,  desiderium  eius,  quo- 
tiens  non  videret,  incdia  testatiis*    et  unguentarmm 
quandam  dilectam  luba  tradifc.    omnium  aniorls  fuere 
argumenta  gaudium  ad  conspoctum  blanditiacquc 
inconditae,  stipesque  quas  poptilus  dcdisset  servatae 
et  in  sinum  cffusae.    nee  mirurn  es«c  amorom  quibus 

15  sitmemoria,    idem  namque  tradit  agnitum  in  senecta 
multos  post  annos  qui  rector  in  iuventa  fuisset  ;  idem 
divinationem  quandam  iustitiae,  cum  Bacchus  rex 
triginta  elephantis  totidem  in  quos  saevire  instituerat 
sttpitibus  adligatos  obiecisset,  procursantibus  inter 
cos  qui  lacesserent,  nee  l  potuisse  cffici  ut  crudelitatis 
alienae  ministcrio  fungcrcntur. 

i«  VL  Elephantos  Italia  primum  vidit  Pyrri  regis 
bello  et  boves  Lucas  appellavit  in  Lucanis  viso  anno 
urbis  ccccLXxiv,2  Boma  autem  in  triumpho  v3 
annis  ad  superiorem  numerum  additis,  eadem  pluri- 
mos  anno  DII  victoria  L,  Metelli  pontificis  in  Sicilia 

1  v*L  non. 


0  The  MS.  reading  crronwmnly  gives  tho  dato  of  Pyrrlnis's 
invasion  as  A.tr.c.  472,  282  t*.a.»  and  ao  it  puts  th©  mumph 
of  M*Curius  Dentatua  after  defeating  Fyrrhus  at  Jtenoventum 
(A*U,C.  479,  275  B.C.)  sovon  years  later. 

12 


BOOK  VIIL  v.  i3-vL  16 

they  are  devoid  of  strong  affection,  for  it  is  re- 
ported that  one  elephant  in  Egypt  fell  in  love  with  a 
girl  who  was  selling  flowers,  and  (that  nobody  may 
think  that  it  was  a  vulgar  choice)  who  was  a  remark- 
able favourite  of  the  very  celebrated  scholar  Aris- 
tophanes ;  and  another  elephant  is  said  to  have  fallen 
in  love  with  a  young  soldier  in  Ptolemy's  army,  a 
Syracusan  named  Menander,  and  whenever  it  did 
not  see  him  to  have  shown  its  longing  for  him  by 
refusing  food.  Also  Juba  records  a  girl  selling  scent 
who  was  loved  by  an  elephant.  In  all  these  cases 
the  animals  showed  their  affection  by  their  delight 
at  the  sight  of  the  object  and  their  clumsy  gestures 
of  endearment,  and  by  keeping  the  branches  given 
to  them  by  the  public  and  showering  them  in  the 
loved  one's  lap.  Nor  is  it  surprising  that  animals 
possessing  memory  are  also  capable  of  affection. 
For  the  same  writer  records  a  case  of  an  elephant's 
recognizing  many  years  later  in  old  age  a  man  who 
had  been  its  mahout  in  its  youth,  and  also  an  instance 
of  a  sort  of  insight  into  justice,  when  King  Bocchus 
tied  to  stakes  thirty  elephants  which  he  intended  to 
punish  and  exposed  them  to  a  herd  of  the  same 
number,  men  running  out  among  them  to  provoke 
them  to  the  attack,  and  it  proved  impossible  to  make 
them  perform  the  service  of  ministering  to  another's 
cruelty, 

VI.  Italy  saw  elephants  for  the  first  time  in  the  Mrsta 
war  with  King  Pyrrhus,  and  called  them  Lucan  ^ 
oxen  because  they  were  seen  in  Lucania,  280 a  B.C.  ;  wi 
but  Rome  first  saw  them  at  a  date  five  years  later, 
in  a  triumph,  and  also  a  very  large  number  that  were 
captured  from  the  Carthaginians  in  Sicily  by  the 
victory  of  the  pontiff  Lucius  Metellus,  252  B.C. 

13 


PUNY:    NATURAL  HTSTOKY 

do  Poenis  captos.  cxui  fuerc  aut,  ut  quidnm,  rxL 
travecti  ratibxis  quas  doliorum  consertis  ordinibus 

17  inposuernt.  Vcrrius  cos  pugnasse  in  circo  inter- 
fectosque  iaoulis  tradit,  paenuria  eonsiliu  quoniam 
neque  all  placuisset  nequc  donari  rcgibus;  L.  Piso 
indue tos  dunxtaxat  in  exrcutu  at  quo,  ut  oontcmptus 
eorum  inoresceret,  ah  opcrariis  Imstas  praopilataH 
habentibxis  per  cirouni  totxmi  actos.  nee  qwld  dcinde 
iis  factum  sit  auctores  explicant  qui  nan  putant 
interfectos, 

IB  VII.  Clara  est  unius  e  Romania  dimicatio  ad  ver- 
sus elephanturn,  cum  Hannibal  captivos  nostros 
dimicarc  inter  sese  coegisset,  namque  unurn  qui 
supererat  obiecit  elephanto,  ct  ille,  dimitti  pactus  «i 
interemisset,  solus  in  harena  congressus  magno 
Poenorum  dolorc  confccit.  Hannibal,  cum  fnmam 
eius  dimicationis  contemptum  adlaturam  beluis 
intdlegeret,  equites  misit  qui  abeuntern  interficerent* 
proboscidem  eorum  facillime  amputari  Pyrri  proelio- 

19  rum  experimentis  patuit,  Romae  pugnasse  Fenestella 
tradit   primum    omnium    in   circo    Claudi    Pulohri 
aedilitate  curuli  M.  Antonio  A.  Postumio  coss.  anno 
xirbis    DCLV,  item    post   annos    viginti    Lucullorum 

20  aedilitate  curuli  adversus  tauros*    Pompei  quoque 

4  55  B,O. 
14 


BOOK  VIII.  vi.  ifr-vn.  20 

There  were  142  of  them,  or  by  some  accounts  140, 
and  they  had  been  brought  over  on  rafts  that 
Metellus  constructed  by  laying  decks  on  rows  of 
casks  lashed  together.  Verrius  records  that  they 
fought  in  the  Circus  and  were  killed  with  javelins, 
because  it  was  not  known  what  use  to  make  of  them, 
as  it  had  been  decided  not  to  keep  them  nor  to 
present  them  to  native  kings ;  Lucius  Piso  says  that 
they  were  merely  led  into  the  Circus,  and  in  order  to 
increase  the  contempt  felt  for  them  were  driven  all 
round  it  by  attendants  carrying  spears  with  a  button 
on  the  point.  The  authorities  who  do  not  think  that 
they  were  killed  do  not  explain  what  was  done  with 
them  afterwards, 

VII.  There  is  a  famous  story  of  one  of  the  Romans 
fighting  single-handed  against  an  elephant,  on  the  j 

occasion  when  Hannibal  had  compelled  his  prisoners  the  circus. 
from  our  army  to  fight  duels  with  one  another.  For 
he  pitted  one  survivor  against  an  elephant,  and  this 
man,  having  secured  a  promise  of  his  freedom  if  he 
killed  the  animal,  met  it  single-handed  in  the  arena 
and  much  to  the  chagrin  of  the  Carthaginians  dis- 
patched it,  Hannibal  realized  that  reports  of  this 
encounter  would  bring  the  animals  into  contempt,  so 
he  sent  horsemen  to  kill  the  man  as  he  was  departing. 
Experiences  in  our  battles  with  Pyrrhus  made  it 
clear  that  it  is  very  easy  to  lop  off  an  elephant's 
trunk.  Fenestella  states  that  the  first  elephant 
fought  in  the  circus  at  Rome  in  the  curule  aedileship 
of  Claudius  Pulcher  and  the  consulship  of  Marcus 
Antonius  and  Aulus  Postumius,  99  B.C.,  and  also  that 
the  first  fight  of  an  elephant  against  bulls  was  twenty 
years  later  in  the  curule  aedileship  of  the  Luculll 
Also  in  Pompey's  second  consulship,*1  at  the  dedica- 


PUNY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

altero  consulatu,  decllcatione  templi  Veneris  Victricis, 
viginti  pugnavere  in  eirco  aut,  ut  quidam  tradunt, 
xvn,  Gaetulis  ex  advcrsa  iaculantibus,  mirabili 
xmius  dimicationc,  qui  pedibus  confossis  repsit  genibus 
in  catervas,  abrcpta  scuta  iaciens  in  sublime,  quae 
decidentia  voluptati  speetantibus  erant  in  orboni 
circumacta,  velut  ai'te  non  furore  beluae  iacerentur, 
magnum  et  in  altero  miraeulum  fuit  uno  ictu  ocoiso ; 
pilum  ctcnim  l  sub  oculo  adactum  in  vitalia  oapitis 
venerat,  xmiversi  cruptioncm  tomptaverc,  non  sine 
vexationc  populi,  circutndatis  claustris  ferrci?».  qua 
de  causa  Caesar  dictator  postea  simile  spectaoulum 
editurus  euripis  harenam  oircumdedit,  quos  Nero 
princcps  sustulit  equiti  loca  addens,  sed  Pompeinni 
missa  ftigae  spc  misericordiam  vulgi  incnarrabili 
habitu  quaerentcs  supplicavere  quadam  sesc  lamcn- 
tatione  conplorantes,  tanto  populi  dolore  ut  obli- 
tus  imperatoris  ac  munificentiaa  honori  sue  exquisitae 
fiens  uni versus  consurgeret  dirasque  Pompeio  quas 
ille  mox  luit2  inprecaretur.  pugnavere  et  Caesari 
dictatori  tertio  consulatu  eius  viginti  contra  pedites 
D,  iterumque  totidem  turriti  cum  sexagenis  pro- 

1  etenim?  MayHoff:  an  torn. 
8  v.L  luit  poenaa. 

0  49  B»O»  *  40  B,C, 

16 


BOOK     VIII.    VII.    20-22 

tion  of  the  Temple  of  Venus  Victrix,  twenty,  or,  as 
some  record,  seventeen,  fought  in  the  Circus,  their 
opponents  being  Gaetulians  armed  with  javelins,  one 
of  the  animals  putting  up  a  marvellous  fight — its  feet 
being  disabled  by  wounds  it  crawled  against  the 
hordes  of  the  enemy  on  its  knees,  snatching  their 
shields  from  them  and  throwing  them  into  the  air, 
and  these  as  they  fell  delighted  the  spectators  by 
the  curves  they  described,  as  if  they  were  being 
thrown  by  a  skilled  juggler  and  not  by  an  infuriated 
wild  animal.  There  was  also  a  marvellous  occurrence 
in  the  case  of  another,  which  was  killed  by  a  single 
blow,  as  the  javelin  striking  it  under  the  eye  had 
reached  the  vital  parts  of  the  head.  The  whole 
band  attempted  to  burst  through  the  iron  palisading 
by  which  they  were  enclosed  and  caused  considerable 
trouble  among  the  public.  Owing  to  this,  when 
subsequently  Caesar  in  his  dictatorship  a  was  going  to 
exhibit  a  similar  show  he  surrounded  the  arena  with 
channels  of  water ;  these  the  emperor  Nero  removed 
when  adding  special  places  for  the  Knighthood, 
But  Pompey's  elephants  when  they  had  lost  all  hope 
of  escape  tried  to  gain  the  compassion  of  the  crowd 
by  indescribable  gestures  of  entreaty,  deploring 
their  fate  with  a  sort  of  wailing,  so  much  to  the 
distress  of  the  public  that  they  forgot  the  general  and 
his  munificence  carefully  devised  for  their  honour, 
and  bursting  into  tears  rose  in  a  body  and  invoked 
curses  on  the  head  of  Pompey  for  which  he  soon 
afterwards  paid  the  penalty.  Elephants  also  fought 
for  the  dictator  Caesar  in  his  third  consulship,6  twenty 
being  matched  against  500  foot  soldiers,  and  on  a 
second  occasion  an  equal  number  carrying  castles 
each  with  a  garrison  of  GO  men,  who  fought  a  pitched 

17 
VOL.  m.  c 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

pugnatoribus  eodem  quo  priore  numero  peditum  et 
pari  equitum  ex  adverse  dimicante,  postea  singuli 
principibus  Claudio  et  Neroni  in  consummatione 
gladiatorum. 

23  Ipsius  animalis  tanta  narratur  dementia  contra 
minus  validos  ut  in  grege  pecudum  occurrentia  manu 
dimoveat,    ne    quod    obterat   inprudens.     nee   nisi 
lacessiti  nocent,  idque  cum  gregatim  semper  ambu- 
lent,  minime  ex  omnibus  solivagi.     equitatu  circum- 
venti  mfirmos  aut  fessos  vulneratosve  in  medium 
agmen  recipiunt,  aciei1  velut  imperio  aut  ratione  per 
vices  subeunt. 

24  Capti   celerrime  mitificantur  hordei  suco.     VIII. 
capiuntur  autem  in  India  unum  ex  domitis  agente 
rector e   qui  deprehensum  solitarium  abactumve  a 
grege  verberet  ferum;    quo  fatigato  transcendit  in 
eum  nee  secus  ac  priorem  regit.    Africa  foveis  capit, 
in  quas  deerrante  aliquo  protinus  ceteri  congerunt 
ramos,  moles  devolvunt,  aggeres  construunt,  omni- 

25  que  vi  conantur  extrahere.     ante  domitandi  gratia 
reges  equitatu  cogebant  in  convallem  manu  factam 
et  longo  tractu  fallacem,  cuius  inclusos  ripis  fossisque 
fame  domabant:    argumentum  erat  ramus  homine 

1  JtaMam  (acie  Mneller] :  ac. 
18 


BOOK  VIII.  vii.  22-vm.  25 

battle  against  the  same  number  of  infantry  as  on  the 
former  occasion  and  an  equal  number  of  cavalry ;  and 
subsequently  for  the  emperors  Claudius  and  Nero 
elephants  versus  men  single-handed,  as  the  crowning 
exploit  of  the  gladiators'  careers. 

A  story  is  told  that  the  animal's  natural  gentleness  Gentleness  of 
towards  those  not  so  strong  as  itself  is  so  great  that  ekPhants 
if  it  gets  among  a  flock  of  sheep  it  will  remove  with 
its  trunk  those  that  come  in  its  way,  so  as  not 
unwittingly  to  crush  one.  Also  they  never  do  any 
harm  unless  provoked,  and  that  although  they  go 
about  in  herds,  being  of  all  animals  the  least  solitary 
in  habit.  When  surrounded  by  horsemen  they  with- 
draw the  weak  ones  or  those  that  are  exhausted  or 
wounded  into  the  middle  of  their  column,  and 
advance  into  the  fighting  line  in  relays  as  if  by 
command  or  strategy. 

When  captured  they  are  very  quickly  tamed  by  Elephants 
means  of  barley  juice.    VIII.  The  method  of  cap-  £^r 
turing  them  in  India  is  for  a  mahout  riding  one  of  turn  and 
the  domesticated  elephants  to  find  a  wild  elephant  ^^  ' 
alone  or  detach  it  from  the  herd  and  to  flog  it,  and 
when  it  is  tired  out  he  climbs  across  on  to  it  and 
manages  it  as  he  did  his  previous  mount.    Africa 
captures  elephants  by  means  of  pit-falls ;  when  an 
elephant  straying  from  the  herd  falls  into  one  of 
these  all  the  rest  at  once  collect  branches  of  trees 
and  roll  down  rocks  and  construct  ramps,  exerting 
every  effort  in  the  attempt  to  get  it  out.    Previously 
for  the  purpose  of  taming  them  the  kings  used  to 
round  them  up  with  horsemen  into  a  trench  made 
by  hand  so  as  to  deceive  them  by  its  length,  and 
when  they  were  enclosed  within  its  banks  and  ditches 
they  were  starved  into  submission ;  the  proof  of  this 

19 
c2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

porrigente  clement  or  accept  us.  nune  deniium 
20  causa  podes  eorum  iaeulantur  alioqui  mollissimos. 
Trogodytae  eonlermini  Aethiopiae,  qui  hoc  solo 
vcnatu  aluntur,  propinquas  it  men  eorum  conseondunt 
arborcsj  inde  totius  agminis  iwussinwm  spt^culati 
extrcinas  in  dunes  desiliunl  ;  larva  «d])rehenditur 
oauda,  pedcs  stipaniur  in  sinistro  feminc;  ita 
pcndens  alterum  poplitcm  dexlra  caedit  ae l  praeacut a 
bipenni,  hoc  crure  tardato  profugienti a  alterius 
poplitis  ncrvos  ferit,  ctinota  praeceleri  pernicitate 
pcragens*  alii  tutiore  generc  sed  magis  fallaci 
ingentos  arcus  intentos  defigunt  humi  longius ;  hos 
pra(icipai  viribus  iuvenos  continent,  alii  conixi  pan 
conatu  tondunt  ac  praeteretmtibus  sagittarum 
vice3  venabula  Infigimt,  mox  sanguinis  vestigk 
secuntur. 

27  IX.  Elophantorum  generis  feniinae  multo  pavi- 
diores.  domnntur  nut  em  rabidi  fame  et  verberibtiR, 
elephantls  aliis  admotis  qxii  tuxnultuantcm  cutenfs 
coerceant,  ot  alias  circa  coitus  maxime  ofierantur 
et  stabula  Indorum  dentibxis  sternunt.  quapropter 
arcent  cos  coitu  feminarumque  pecuaria  soparant, 
quae  haud  alio  modo  quam  armentorum  habent, 
domiti  militant  et  tores  armatorum  in  dorsis  ferunt, 

1  t? ./.  om,  ao.  B  ftatkkcm :  profugiens. 

3  vioo  add* 

20 


BOOK  VIII.  viii,  25-ix.  27 

would  be  if  when  a  man  held  out  a  branch  to  them 
they  gently  took  it  from  him.  At  the  present  day 
hunters  for  the  sake  of  their  tusks  shoot  them  with 
javelins  in  the  foot,  which  in  fact  is  extremely  soft. 
The  Cavemen  on  the  frontier  of  Ethiopia,  whose  only 
food  is  elephant  meat  obtained  by  hunting,  climb 
up  trees  near  the  elephants'  track  and  there  keep  a 
look  out  for  the  last  of  the  whole  column  and  jump 
down  on  to  the  hind  part  of  its  haunches ;  the  tail  is 
grasped  in  the  man's  left  hand  and  his  feet  are 
planted  on  the  animal's  left  thigh,  and  so  hanging 
suspended,  with  his  right  hand  and  with  a  very 
sharp  axe  he  hamstrings  one  leg,  and  as  the 
elephant  runs  forward  with  its  leg  crippled  he  strikes 
the  sinews  of  the  other  leg,  performing  the  whole 
of  these  actions  with  extreme  rapidity.  Others 
employing  a  safer  but  less  reliable  method  fix  great 
bows  rather  deep  in  the  ground,  unbent ;  these  are 
held  in  position  by  young  men  of  exceptional  strength, 
while  others  striving  with  a  united  effort  bend  them, 
and  as  the  elephants  pass  by  they  shoot  them  with 
hunting-spears  instead  of  arrows  and  afterwards 
follow  the  tracks  of  blood. 

IX.  The  females  of  the  genus  elephant  are  much  Training  of 
more  timid  than  the  males,  Mad  elephants  can  be 
tamed  by  hunger  and  blows,  other  elephants  being 
'brought  up  to  one  that  is  unmanageable  to  restrain 
it  with  chains.  Besides  this  they  get  very  wild 
when  in  heat  and  overthrow  the  stables  of  the 
Indians  with  their  tusks.  Consequently  they  prevent 
them  from  coupling,  and  keep  the  herds  of  females 
separate,  in  just  the  same  way  as  droves  of  cattle 
are  kept*  Male  elephants  when  broken  in  serve  in 
battle  and  <Mry  castles  manned  with  airmed  warriors 

21 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

magnaquo  ex  pavte  orient  is  holla  eonfiehmt :  pro- 
stermmt  ncic«,  proterunt  armatos.  iidem  minhno 
Kilis  stridoro  terrontur;  vulneraUque  et  ferriti  retro 
semper  cedunt  haut  minorc  pariium  sunnnn  pernieie, 
Indiouin  Afrioi  pavont  noo  oontuori  audont,  naia  ef 
inaior  Indicia  magnitudo  est. 

28  X.  Pocem  nnnis  gesture  in  utoro  vulgus  exist  hnat, 
Avisiotolcshionnio,  uoo  amplius  (\\imn  fseincl 
plurosque    quam]  ^    sln^ulos,    vivoro    duoenis 

et  quosdam  (re*  iuv(»ntu  corum  a 
inoipit.  Gaudont  aninihus  niaxime  et  circa  iiuxios 
vagantur,  cunt  alio<|uin  narc  propter  rt^agnitudinem 
oorporis  non  possint,  iidom  frigoris  inpatientos; 
maximum  hoc  malum,  inflationemque  et  profluvium 
alvi  nee  alia  morborum  genera  sentiunt.  olei 
potu  tela  qnne  corpori  eorum  inhacreant  decide  re 

29  invenio,  a  sudore  autcni  facilhis  adhaereseere,     et 
terrain  edisse  iis  tabificum  est,  nisi  saepius  inandant ; 
devorant  autem  et  lapides,  truncos  quidem  gratiHsimo 
in  cibatu  hahent,  palmas  excclsiorcs  front**  proster* 
nunt  atque  itu  inccntium  absumunt  fructum.    man* 
dunt  ore,  spirant  et  blbunt   ordoranturque  baud 
inproprie  appellata  manu.    animalium  maxime  odere 
nuirem,  et  si  pabulum  in  praesepio  post  turn  attingl 
ab  eo  videre  fastidiunt.    crucial  um  in  potu  maximum 


0  This  ie  not  the  <sas©. 

*  S0m$  MSS.  give  *  nevet  bear  more  than  once  or  moro  than 
on©  at  a  time  * ;  bxit  Aristotle^  statement  is  as  above, 
1L 
mittake,  with  all  the  context,  is  from  Aristotle* 

22 


BOOK  VIII.  ix.  27-x.  29 

on  their  backs ;  they  are  the  most  important  factor 
in  eastern  warfare,  scattering  the  ranks  before  them 
and  trampling  armed  soldiers  underfoot.  Neverthe- 
less they  are  scared  by  the  smallest  squeal  of  a  pig; 
and  when  wounded  and  frightened  they  always  give 
ground,  doing  as  much  damage  to  their  own  side  as 
to  the  enemy.  African  elephants  are  afraid  of  an 
Indian  elephant,  and  do  not  dare  to  look  at  it,  as 
Indian  elephants  are  indeed  of  a  larger  size.* 

X.  Their  period  of  gestation  is  commonly  supposed  Breeding 
to  be  ten  years,  but  Aristotle  puts  it  at  two  years,  '' 
and  says  that  they  never  bear  more  than  one  at  a 
time/'  and  that  they  live  200  and  in  some  cases 
300  years.  Their  adult  life  begins  at  60.  They  take 
the  greatest  pleasure  in  rivers  and  roam  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  streams,  although  at  the  same 
time  they  are  unable  to  swim c  because  of  the  size 
of  their  bodies,  and  also  as  they  are  incapable  of 
enduring  cold :  this  is  their  greatest  infirmity ;  they 
are  also  liable  to  flatulence  and  diarrhoea,  but  not 
to  other  kinds  of  disease.  I  find  it  stated  that 
missiles  sticking  in  their  body  fall  out  when  they 
drink  oil,  but  that  perspiration  makes  it  easier  for 
them  to  keep  their  hold.  It  also  causes  them  disease 
to  eat  earth  unless  they  chew  it  repeatedly;  but 
they  devour  even  stones,  consider  trunks  of  trees  a 
great  delicacy,  and  bend  down  the  loftier  palm  trees 
by  butting  against  them  with  their  foreheads  and 
when  thus  prostrate  consume  their  fruit.  They  eat 
with  the  mouth,  but  they  breathe  and  drink  and 
smell  with  the  organ  not  unsuitably  called  their 
hand.  They  hate'  the  mouse  worst,  of  living  creatures, 
and  if  they  see  one  merely  touch  the  fodder  placed 
in  their  stall  they  refuse  it  with  disgust*  They  are 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

sent  hint  hausta  hirudme  (quam  sanguisugam  vulgo 
eoepisse  appellari  adverto) :  haee  ubi  in  ipso  nninruu* 
eanali  se  fixit,  intolerando  adfieit  dolore. 

30  Duribsixnum  dorso  tergus,  ventri  nu>lk%  .sat*iarum 
nullum  tegimentum,  nc  in  cauda  quidcm  prae&idhim 
abigendo   taedio    muscarum— namque   id   et   tanta 
vawtitas  sentit— sed  cancellata  cutis  et  invitans  id 
genus  animalium  odore;   ergo  cum  extent  is1    rece- 
pere    examina,    artatis   in  rugas  repente  caacellls 
eonprehensas    enecant,  hoc    iis    pro    cauda,  iuba, 
villo  est, 

31  Dentibus  ingens  pretium   et   deovum  simulacris 
lautissima  ex   his   materia.    invenit    luxun'a    com- 
mendationem    et    aliam    expetiti   in   calk)   mantis 
saporis  haut  alia  de  causa,  credo,  quam  quia  ipsuni 
abur   sibi   mandcre   videtur.    magnitudo   clentium 
videtur  quidem  in  tcmplis  praecipua,  seel  tamen  In 
extremis    Africae,    qua    conflnis    Acthiopine    est, 
postium   vicem  in  domiciliis   pracberc,  saepesqua 
in  his  et  pecorum  stabulis  pro  palis  elephantorum 
dentibus    fieri   Polybius    trudldit    auctore    Gulusa 
regulo. 

32  XL  Elephantos  fert  Africa  ultra  Syrticas  solitti- 
dines  et  in  Mauretania,  ferunt  AcAiopes  et  Trogo- 
dytae,  ut  dictum  est,  sed  maximos  India  bellantesqtie 

1  Mudlw ;  ©xtenti, 

*  XXXIX*  I,  I 


BOOK  VIIL  x,  29-xi.  32 

liable  to  extreme  torture  if  in  drinking  they  swallow 
a  leech  (the  common  name  for  which  I  notice  has 
now  begun  to  be '  blood-sucker  ') ;  when  this  attaches 
itself  in  the  actual  breathing  passage  it  causes 
intolerable  pain. 

The  hide  of  the  back  is  extremely  hard,  but  that 
of  the  belly  is  soft ;  it  has  no  covering  of  bristles, 
not  even  on  the  tail  as  a  guard  for  driving  away  the 
annoyance  of  flies— for  even  that  huge  bulk  is 
sensitive  to  this — but  the  skin  is  creased,  and  is 
inviting  to  this  kind  of  creature  owing  to  its  smell ; 
consequently  they  stretch  the  creases  open  and  let 
the  swarms  get  in,  and  then  crush  them  to  death  by 
suddenly  contracting  the  creases  into  wrinkles. 
This  serves  them  instead  of  tail,  mane  and  fleece. 

The  tusks  fetch  a  vast  price,  and  supply  a  very  /wry. 
elegant  material  for  images  of  the  gods.  Luxury 
has  also  discovered  another  thing  that  recommends 
the  elephant,  the  flavour  in  the  hard  skin  of  the 
trunk,  sought  after,  I  believe,  for  no  other  reason 
than  because  the  epicure  feels  that  he  is  munching 
actual  ivory.  Exceptionally  large  specimens  of 
tusks  can  indeed  be  seen  in  the  temples,  but  never- 
theless Polybius*  has  recorded  on  the  authority  of 
the  chieftain  Gulusa &  that  in  the  outlying  parts  of 
the  province  of  Africa  where  it  marches  with  Ethiopia 
elephants'  tusks  serve  instead  of  doorposts  in  the 
houses,  and  partitions  in  these  buildings  and  in 
stabling  for  cattle  are  made  by  using  elephants' 
tusks  lor  poles, 

XL  Elephants  are  produced  by  Africa  beyond  the 
deserts  of  Sidra  and  by  the  country  of  the  Moors; 
also  by  the  land  of  Ethiopia  and  the  Cave-dwellers, 
as  has  beon  said ;  but  the  biggest  ones  by  India,  as 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

cum  his  perpetua  discordia  dracones  tantae  magni- 
tudinis  et  ipsos  ut  circumplexu  facili  ambiant  nexuque 
nodi  praestringant.  conmoriuntur  ea  dimicatione,1 
victusque  conruens  conplexum  elidit  pondere, 

33  XII.  Mira  animalium  pro  se  cuique  sollertia  est, 
ut  his.     una  est  scandendi 2  in  tantam  altitudinem 
difficultas   draconi;    itaque   tritum   iter   ad  pabula 
speculatus   ab    excelsa   se   arbore   illicit,     scit   ille 
inparem  sibi  luctatum  contra  nexus,  itaque  arbo- 
rum    aut    rupium    attritum    quaerit.     cavent    hoc 
dracones,  ob  idque  gressus  primum  alligant  cauda, 
resolvunt   illi  nodos  manu.      at  hi  in  ipsas  nares 
caput    condunt,    pariterque    spiritum    praecludunt 
et  mollissimas  lancinant  partes ;   idem  obvii  depre- 
hensi   in   adversos    erigunt   se   oculosque   maxime 
petunt :  ita  fit  ut  plerumque  caeci  ac  fame  et  maeroris 
tabe  confecti  reperiantur. 

34  Quam  quis  aliam  tantae  discordiae  causam  attulerit 
nisi  naturam  spectaculum  sibi  ac  paria  conponentem  ? 

Est  et  alia  dimicationis  huius  fama:  elephantis 
frigidissimum  esse  sanguinem,  ob  id  aestu  torrente 
praecipue  a  draconibus  expeti;  quamobrem  in  am- 

1  Detlefsen :  coniinoritur  ea  dimicatio. 

2  Detlefsen  :  una  exscandendo. 

a  Viz,  pythons, 
26 


BOOK  VIII.  xi.  32-xn.  34 

well  as  serpents a  that  keep  up  a  continual  feud  and 

warfare  with  them,  the  serpents  also  being  of  so  The  Indian 

large  a  size  that  they  easily  encircle  the  elephants 

in  their  coils  and  fetter  them  with  a  twisted  knot. snake- 

In  this  duel  both  combatants  die  together,  and  the 

vanquished  elephant  in  falling  crushes  with  its  weight 

the  snake  coiled  round  it. 

XII.  Every  species  of  animal  is  marvellously 
cunning  for  its  own  interests,  as  are  those  which  we 
are  considering.  One  difficulty  that  the  serpent  has 
is  in  climbing  to  such  a  height ;  consequently  it  keeps 
watch  on  the  track  worn  by  the  elephant  going  to 
pasture  and  drops  on  him  from  a  lofty  tree.  The 
elephant  knows  that  he  is  badly  handicapped  in  fight- 
ing against  the  snake's  coils,  and  therefore  seeks  to 
rub  it  against  trees  or  rocks.  The  snakes  are  on 
their  guard  against  this,  and  consequently  begin  by 
shackling  the  elephants'  steps  with  their  tail.  The 
elephants  untie  the  knots  with  their  trunk.  But 
the  snakes  poke  their  heads  right  into  the  elephants' 
nostrils,  hindering  their  breathing  and  at  the  same 
time  lacerating  their  tenderest  parts ;  also  when  caught 
in  the  path  of  the  elephants  they  rear  up  against 
them,  going  specially  for  their  eyes :  this  is  how  it 
comes  about  that  elephants  are  frequently  found 
blind  and  exhausted  with  hunger  and  wasting 
misery. 

What  other  cause  could  anybody  adduce  for  such 
a  quarrel  save  Nature  arranging  a  match  between  a 
pair  of  combatants  to  provide  herself  with  a  show  ? 

There  is  also  another  account  of  this  contest — that 
elephants  are  very  cold-blooded,  and  consequently  in 
very  hot  weather  are  specially  sought  after  by  the 
snakes;  and  that  for  this  reason  they  submerge 

27 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

nes  mersos  insidiari  bibentibus,  coortosque 1  inligata 
manu  in  aurem  morsum  defigere,  quoniam  is  tantum 
locus  defend!  non  possit  manu ;  dracones  esse  tantos 
ut  totum  sanguinem  capiant,  itaque  elephantos  ab 
his  ebibi  siccatosque  concidere  et  dracones  inebriates 
opprimi  conmorique. 

35  XIII.  Generat  eos  Aethiopia  Indicis  pares,  vice- 
num  cubitorum;    id  modo   mirum    unde    cristatos 
luba  crediderit.     Asachaei  vocantur  Aethiopes  apud 
quos  maxime  nascuntur,  narrantque  in  maritimis 
eorum  quatecaos  quinosque  inter  se  cratium  modo 
inplexos    erectis   capitibus   velificantes   ad   meliora 
pabula  Arabiae  vehi  fluctibus. 

36  XIV.  Megasthenes  scribit  in  India  serpentes  in 
tantam  magmtudinem  adolescere  ut  solidos  hauriant 
cervos    taurosque,    Metrodorus    circa    Rhyndacum 
amnem  in  Ponto  supervolantes  quamvis  alte  pernici- 

37  terque  alites  haustu  raptas  absorbeant.    nota  est  in 
Punicis  bellis  ad  flumen  Bagradam  a  Regulo  impera- 
tore    ballistis    tormentisque    ut    oppidum    aliquod 
expugnata  serpens  cxx  pedum  longitudinis ;  pellis 
eius   maxillaeque   usque    ad   bellum    Numantinum 
duravere  Romae  in  templo.    faciunt  his  fidem  in 
Italia   appellatae   boae 2  in   tantam   amplitudinem 
exeuntes  ut  divo  Claudio  principe  occisae  in  Vaticano 

1  Mayhoff :  coartatosque  (contortosque  Detlefsen). 

2  v.L  bovae. 

0  In  Africa  near  Utioa,  now  the  Mejerdah ;  256  B.C. 

6  142-133  B.C.,  resulting  in  the  acknowledgement  of  Roman 
supremacy  in  Spam. 
28 


BOOK  VIII.  xii,  34-xiv.  37 

themselves  in  rivers  and  lie  in  wait  for  the  elephants 
when  drinking,  and  rising  up  coil  round  the  trunk 
and  imprint  a  bite  inside  the  ear,  because  that  place 
only  cannot  be  protected  by  the  trunk ;  and  that  the 
snakes  are  so  large  that  they  can  hold  the  whole  of 
an  elephant's  blood,  and  so  they  drink  the  elephants 
dry,  and  these  when  drained  collapse  in  a  heap  and 
the  serpents  being  intoxicated  are  crushed  by  them 
and  die  with  them. 

XIII.  Ethiopia  produces  elephants  that  rival  those  The  African 
of  India,  being  30  ft.  high ;  the  only  surprising  thing  ele^hant- 

is  what  led  Juba  to  believe  them  to  be  crested.  The 
Ethiopian  tribe  in  whose  country  they  are  chiefly 
bred  are  called  the  Asachaeans ;  it  is  stated  that  in 
the  coast  districts  belonging  to  this  tribe  the  elephants 
link  themselves  four  or  five  together  into  a  sort  of 
raft  and  holding  up  their  heads  to  serve  as  sails  are 
carried  on  the  waves  to  the  better  pastures  of 
Arabia. 

XIV.  Megasthenes  writes  that  in   India  snakes  Swfos  of 
grow  so  large  as  to  be  able  to  swallow  stags  and  bulls  e^Uoml 
whole ;  and  Metrodorus  that  in  the  neighbourhood 

of  the  river  Rhyndacus  in  Pontus  they  catch  and 
gulp  down  birds  passing  over  them  even  though  they 
are  flying  high  and  fast.  There  is  the  well-known 
case  of  the  snake  120  ft.  long  that  was  killed  during 
the  Punic  Wars  on  the  River  Bagradas®  by  General 
Regulus,  using  ordnance  and  catapults  just  as  if 
storming  a  town;  its  skin  and  jaw-bones  remained 
in  a  temple  at  Rome  down  to  the  Numantine  War.& 
Credibility  attaches  to  these  stories  on  account  of 
the  serpents  in  Italy  called  boas,  which  reach  such 
dimensions  that  during  the  principate  of  Claudius 
of  blessed  memory  a  whole  child  was  found  in  the 

29 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

solidus  in  alvo  spectatus  sit  infans.     aluntur  prime 
bubuli  lactis  suco,  unde  nomen  traxere. 

38  XV.  Ceterorum  animalium  quae  modo    convecta 
undique  Italiam x  contigere  2  saepius  formas    nihil 
attinet  scrupulose  referre.    paucissima  Scythia  gignit 
inopia  fruticum ;  pauca  contermina  illi  Germania, 
insignia    tamen    bourn    ferorum    genera,    iubatos 
bisontes    excellentique    et    vi    et    velocitate    uros, 
quibus  inperitum  volgus  bubalorum  nomen.  inponit, 
cum  id  gignat  Africa  vituli  potius  cervique  quadam 

39  similitudine.     XVI.  Septentrio  fert  et  equorum  gre- 
ges  ferorum,  sicut  asinorum  Asia  et  Africa,  praeterea 
alcen,  iuvenco  similem  ni  proceritas  aurium  et  cervicis 
distingueret ; 3  item  natam  in  Scadinavia  insula  nee 
umquam  visam  in  hac  urbe,4  multist  amen  narratam 
achlin,  haud  dissimilem  illi,  sed  nullo  suffraginum 
flexu  ideoque  non  cubantem  sed  adclinem  arbori 
in  somno,  eaque  incisa  ad  insidias  capi,  alias  velo- 
citatis  memoratae.    labrum  ei  superius  praegrande ; 
ob  id  retrograditur  in  pascendo,  ne  in  prior  a  tendens 

40  involvatur.    tradunt  in  Paeonia  feram  quae  bonasus 
vocetur  equina  iuba,  cetera  tauro  similem,  cornibus 

1  Hardouin :  Italiae. 

2  contigit  videre  ?  Dalecamp. 

3  Mayhoff:  distinguat,  -ant. 

4  v.l.  hoc  orbe. 


a  Bos  primigenius,  now  extinct. 

*  Perhaps  the  moose  or  the  reindeer,  though  the  statement 
about  its  leg  is  of  course  untrue.    Achlis  is  presumably  a 
vernacular  name. 

e  Probably  Zealand. 

*  So  far  this  startling  account  of  the  achlis  comes  from 
Caesar,  B.G.  vi    27,  where  it  is  given  of  the  akes  of  the 

30 


BOOK  VIII.  xiv.  37-xvi.  40 

belly  of  one  that  was  killed  on  the  Vatican  Hill. 
Their  primary  food  is  milk  sucked  from  a  cow; 
from  this  they  derive  their  name. 

XV.  It  is  not  our  concern  to  give  a  meticulous  other  mu 
account  of  all  the  other  species  of  animals  that  recently  %^m 
have  reached  Italy  more  frequently  by  importation  countries. 
from  all  quarters.  Scythia,  owing  to  its  lack  of 
vegetation,  produces  extremely  few ;  its  neighbour 
Germany  few,  but  some  remarkable  breeds  of  wild 
oxen,  the  maned  bison  and  the  exceptionally  power- 
ful and  swift  aurochs  ,a  to  which  the  ignorant  masses 
give  the  name  of  buffalo,  though  the  buffalo  is 
really  a  native  of  Africa  and  rather  bears  some 
resemblance  to  the  calf  and  the  stag.  XVI  The 
North  also  produces  herds  of  wild  horses,  as  do  Asia 
and  Africa  of  wild  asses,  and  also  the  elk,  which 
resembles  a  bullock  save  that  it  is  distinguished  by 
the  length  of  its  ears  and  neck ;  also  the  achlis,6  born 
in  the  island  of  Scandinavia c  and  never  seen  in  Rome, 
although  many  have  told  stories  of  it— an  animal 
that  is  not  unlike  the  elk  but  has  no  joint  at  the  hock 
and  consequently  is  unable  to  lie  down  but  sleeps 
leaning  against  a  tree,  and  is  captured  by  the  tree 
being  cut  through  to  serve  as  a  trap/  but  which 
nevertheless  has  a  remarkable  turn  of  speed.  Its 
upper  lip  is  exceptionally  big ;  on  account  of  this  it 
walks  backward  when  grazing,  so  as  to  avoid  getting 
tripped  up  by  it  in  moving  forward.  There  are 
reports  of  a  wild  animal  in  Paeonia  called  the  bonasus, « 
which  has  the  mane  of  a  horse  but  in  all  other 
respects  resembles  a  bull ;  its  horns  are  curved  back 

silva  Hercynia,  wlu'oh  included  the  Black  Forest  and  the 
Harz, 
*  "Probably  the  aurochs  again. 

31 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

ita  in  se  flexis  ut  non  sint  utilia  pugnae ;  quapropter 
fuga  sibi  auxiliari  reddentem  in  ea  nrnum  interdum 
et  trium  iugertim  longitudine,  cuius  contactus  se- 
quentes  ut  ignis  aliquis  amburat. 

41  XVII.  Mirum  pardos,  pantheras,  leones  et  similia 
condito  in  corporis  vaginas  unguium  mucrone,  ne 
refringantur  hebetenturve,  ingredi,  aversisque  falculis 
currere  nee  nisi  in  adpetendo  protendere. 

42  Leoni  praecipua  generositas  turn  1  cum  colla  ar- 
mosque  vestiunt  iubae;    id  enim  aetate  contingit 
e  leone  conceptis,  quos  vero  pardi  generavere  semper 
insigni  hoc  carent;    simili  modo  feminae.     magna 
his  libido  coitus  et'ob  hoc  maribus  ira;   Africa  haec 
maxime  spectat  inopia  aquarum  ad  paucos  amnes 
congregantibus  se  feris.    ideo  multiformes  ibi  ani- 
malium  partus  varie  feminis  cuiusque  generis  mares 
aut  vi  aut  voluptate  miscente.    unde  etiam  vulgare 
Graeciae  dictum  semper  aliquid  novi  Africam  adferre. 

43  odore  pardi  coitum  sentit  in  adultera  leo  totaque  vi 
consurgit in  poenam ;  idcirco  ea  culpaflumine  abluitur, 
aut  longius  comitatur.    semel  aut  em  edi  partum 
lacerato  unguium  acieutero  in  enixu  volgum  credidisse 

1  turn  ?  Mayhoff :  tune. 

a  The  species  so  called  is  really  a  large  Indian  Jeopard. 
b  'Act  AijSify  <£e/>a  n  Kawov,  Aristotle,  Hist.  An.,  606&  20. 


BOOK  VIII.  xvi.  40-xvii.  43 

in  such  a  manner  as  to  be  of  no  use  for  fighting,  and 
it  is  said  that  because  of  this  it  saves  itself  by  running 
away,  meanwhile  emitting  a  trail  of  dung  that  some- 
times covers  a  distance  of  as  much  as  three  furlongs, 
contact  with  which  scorches  pursuers  like  a  sort  of 
fire.  4 

XVII,  It  is  remarkable  that  leopards,  panthers,* 
lions  and  similar  animals  walk  with  the  point  of  their  *£!^ 
claws  sheathed  inside  the  body  so  that  they  may  not 
get  broken  or  blunted,  and  run  with  their  talons 
turned  back  and  do  not  extend  them  except  when 
attempting  to  catch  something. 

The  lion  is  specially  high-spirited  at  the  time  when 
its  neck  and  shoulders  are  clothed  with  a  mane — for 
this  occurs  at  maturity,  in  the  case  of  those  sired  by 
a  lion,  though  those  begotten  by  leopards  always 
lack  this  characteristic;  and  the  females  likewise. 
Sexual  passion  is  strong  in  this  species,  with  its 
consequence  of  quarrelsomeness  in  the  males ;  this 
is  most  observed  in  Africa,  where  the  shortage  of 
water  makes  the  animals  flock  to  the  few  rivers. 
There  are  consequently  many  varieties  of  hybrids  in 
that  country,  either  violence  or  lust  mating  the  males 
with  the  females  of  each  species  indiscriminately. 
This  is  indeed  the  origin  of  the  common  saying  of 
Greece  that  Africa  is  always  producing  some 
novelty.6  A  lion  detects  intercourse  with  a  leopard 
in  the  case  of  an  adulterous  mate  by  scent,  and 
concentrates  his  entire  strength  on  her  chastisement ; 
consequently  this  guilty  stain  is  washed  away  in  a 
stream,  or  else  she  keeps  her  distance  when  accom- 
panying him.  But  I  notice  that  there  used  to  be 
a  popular  belief  that  the  lioness  only  bears  a  cub 
once,  as  her  wdmb  is  wounded  by  the  points  of 

33 

VOL.  III.  D 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

video.   Aristoteles  diversa  tradit,  vir  queni  in  his  mag- 

44  na  secuturus  ex  parte  praefandum  reor.    Alexandro 
Magno  rege  inflammato  cupidine  animalium  naturas 
noscendi  delegataque  hac  comment atione  Aristoteli, 
summo  in  omni  doctrina  viro,  aliquot  milia  hominum 
In  totius  Asiae  Graeciaeque  tractu  parere  ei1  iussa, 
omnium  quos  venatus,  aucupia  piscatusque  alebant 
quibusque    vivaria,    armenta,  *  alvearia,    piscinae, 
aviaria  in   cur  a   erant,   ne   quid  usquam   genitum 
ignoraretur  ab  eo.    quos  percunctando  quinquaginta 
ferme  volumina  ilia  praeclara  de  animalibus  condidit. 
quae  a  me  collecta  in  artum  cum  iis  quae  ignoraverat 
quaeso    ut   legentes    boni   consulant,   in    universis 
rerum  naturae  operibus  medioque  clarissimi  regum 
omnium  desiderio  cura  nostra  breviter  perigrinantes, 

45  is  ergo  tradit  leaenam  primo  fetu  parere  quinque 
catulos,  ac  per  annos  singulos  uno  minus,2  ab  uno 
sterilescere ;    informes  minimasque  carnes   magni- 
tudine  mustellarum  esse  initio,  semenstres  vix  ingredi 
posse  nee  nisi  bimenstres  moveri ;  in  Europa  autem 
inter  Acheloum  tantum  Mestumque  amnes  leones 
esse,  sed  longe  viribus  praestantiores  iis  quos  Africa 
et 3  Syria  gignant. 

46  XVIII.  Leonum  duo  genera:  conpactile  et  breve 
crispioribus  iubis — hos  pavidiores  esse  quam  longos 

1  ei  add.  Harduin.  2  v.L  singulis  minus. 

3  Rackhami  aut. 


0  Herodotus  III,  108.          6  Tlie  Aspropota-nio. 
c  Or  Nestus,  now  the  Mesto,  in  Thrace. 


34 


BOOK  VIII.  xvn.  43-xvm.  46 

its  claws  in  delivery.0  Aristotle,  however,  whose  Aristotle'* 
authority  I  feel  bound  to  cite  first  as  I  am  going  in 
great  part  to  follow  him  on  these  subjects,  gives  a 
different  account.  King  Alexander  the  Great  being 
fired  with  a  desire  to  know  the  natures  of  animals 
and  having  delegated  the  pursuit  of  this  study  to 
Aristotle  as  a  man  of  supreme  eminence  in  every 
branch  of  science,  orders  were  given  to  some  thousands 
of  persons  throughout  the  whole  of  Asia  and  Greece, 
all  those  who  made  their  living  by  hunting,  fowling, 
and  fishing  and  those  who  were  in  charge  of  warrens, 
herds,  apiaries,  fishponds  and  aviaries,  to  obey  his  in- 
structions, so  that  he  might  not  fail  to  be  informed 
about  any  creature  born  anywhere.  His  enquiries 
addressed  to  those  persons  resulted  in  the  composition 
of  his  famous  works  on  zoology,  in  nearly  50  volumes. 
To  my  compendium  of  these,  with  the  addition  of 
facts  unknown  to  him,  I  request  my  readers  to  give 
a  favourable  reception,  while  making  a  brief  excur- 
sion under  our  direction  among  the  whole  of  the 
works  of  Nature,  the  central  interest  of  the  most 
glorious  of  all  sovereigns.  Aristotle  then  states 
that  a  lioness  at  the  first  birth  produces  five  cubs, 
and  each  year  one  fewer,  and  after  bearing  a  single 
cub  becomes  barren;  and  that  the  cubs  are  mere 
lumps  of  flesh  and  very  small,  at  the  beginning  of  the 
size  of  weasels,  and  at  six  months  are  scarcely  able 
to  walk,  not  moving  at  all  until  they  are  two  months 
old ;  also  that  lions  are  found  in  Europe  only  between 
the  rivers  Achelous  5  and  Mestus,c  but  that  these  far 
exceed  in  strength  those  produced  by  Africa  and  Syria. 

XVIII.  He  states  that  there  are  two  kinds  of  lions,  varieties  of 
one  thickset  and  short,  with  comparatively  curly  manes  l 
— these  being  more  timid  than  the  long,  straight- 

35 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

simplicique  villo,  eos  contemptores  vulnerum.  uri- 
nam  mares  crure  sublato  reddere  ut  canes,  gravem 
odorem,  nee  minus  halitum.  raros  in  potu,  vesci 3 
alternisdiebus,asaturitate  interim  triduo  cibis  carere ; 
quae  possint  in  mandendo  solida  devorare,  nee 
capiente  aviditatem  alvo  coniectis  in  fauces  unguibus 
extrahere,  ut3  si  fugiendum  sit,  non  in  satietate2 

47  abeant.      vitam     iis     longam     docet     argumento 
quodplerique  dentibus  defect!  reperiantur.    Polybius 
Aemiliani  comes  in  senecta  hominem  ab  his  adpeti 
refert,  quoniam  ad  persequendas  feras  vires  non 
suppetant;     tune    obsidere    Africae    urbes,    eaque 
de  causa  cruci  fixos  vidisse  se  cum  Scipione,  quia 
ceteri  metu  poenae  similis  absterrerentur   eadem 
noxa. 

48  XIX.  Leoni  tanlum  ex  feris  dementia  in  supplices ; 
prostratis  parcit,  et,  ubi  saevit,  in  viros  potius  quam 
in  feminas  fremit,  in  infantes  non  nisi  magna  fame, 
credit  luba  3  pervenire  intellectum  ad  eos  precum : 
in4    captivam    certe    Gaetuliae    reducem    audivit 
multorum  in  silvis  impetum  esse  5  mitigatum  adlo- 
quio  ausam  dicere  se  feminam,  profugam,  infirmam, 
supplicern  animalis  omnium  generosissimi  ceterisque 
imperitantis,  indignam  eius  gloria  praedam.     Varia 
circa  hoc  opinio  ex  ingenio  cuiusque  vel  casu,  mulceri 

1  v.L  nee  vesci :  neo  vesci  <nisi>  ?  Rackham. 

2  aut  si  fugiendiam  in  satietate  codd.  plurimi. 
8  Pintianus  (cf.  §  56) :  Libya. 

*  in  add,  Wdzhauer.          5  Mayhoff :  a  se. 

36 


BOOK  VIII.  xvin.  46-xix,  48 

haired  kind ;  the  latter  despise  wounds.  The  males 
lift  one  leg  in  making  water,  like  dogs.  Their  smell  is 
disagreeable,  and  not  less  their  breath.  They  are 
infrequent  drinkers,  and  they  feed  every  other 
day,  after  a  full  meal  occasionally  abstaining  from 
food  for  three  days;  when  chewing  they  swallow 
whole  what  they  can,  and  when  their  belly  will  not 
contain  the  result  of  their  gluttony,  they  insert  their 
clenched  claws  into  their  throats  and  drag  it  out,  so 
that  if  they  have  to  run  away  they  may  not  go  in  a 
state  of  repletion.  From  the  fact  that  many  speci- 
mens are  found  lacking  teeth  he  infers  that  they 
are  long-lived.  Aemilianus's  companion  Polybius 
states  that  in  old  age  their  favourite  prey  is  a  human 
being,  because  their  strength  is  not  adequate  to 
hunting  wild  animals;  and  that  at  this  period  of 
their  lives  they  beset  the  cities  of  Africa,  and 
consequently  when  he  was  with  Scipio  he  saw  lions 
crucified,  because  the  others  might  be  deterred  from 
the  same  mischief  by  fear  of  the  same  penalty. 

XIX.  The  lion  alone  of  wild  animals  shows  mercy  Psychology 
to  suppliants;  it  spares  persons  prostrated  in°fthelwn' 
front  of  it,  and  when  raging  it  turns  its  fury  on 
men  rather  than  women,  and  only  attacks  chil- 
dren when  extremely  hungry.  Juba  believes  that 
the  meaning  of  entreaties  gets  through  to  them: 
at  all  events  he  was  informed  that  the  onset  of  a 
herd  of  lions  in  the  forests  upon  a  woman  of  Gaetulia 
who  was  captured  and  got  away  again  had  been 
checked  by  a  speech  in  which  she  dared  to  say 
that  she  was  a  female,  a  fugitive,  a  weakling,  a 
suppliant  to  the  most  generous  of  all  the  animals, 
the  lord  of  all  the  rest,  a  booty  unworthy  of  his  glory. 
Opinion  will  vary  in  accordance  with  each  person's 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

alloquiis  feras,  quippe  ubi  etiam  serpentes  extrahi 
cantu  cogique  in  poenam  verum  falsumne  sit  non 

49  vita    decreverit.     leonum  animi  index  cauda  sicut 
et  equorum  aures :  namque  et  has  notas  generosissi- 
mo  cuique  natura  tribuit.    inmota  ergo  placido.  cle- 
mens  {motus)1  blandienti,  quod  rarum  est,  crebrior 
enim  iracundia,  cuius  in  principio  terra  verberatur, 
incremento  terga  ceu  quodam  incitamento  flagellantur. 
vis  summa  in  pectore.     ex  omni  vulnere  sive  ungue 
inpresso    sive    dente    ater   profluit    sanguis.     idem 

50  satiati  innoxii  sunt.    generositas  in  periculis  maxime 
deprehenditur,  non  illo 2  tantum  modo  quod  spernens 
tela  diu  se  terrore  solo  tuetur  ac  velut  cogi  testatur 
cooriturque    non    tamquam    periculo    coactus    sed 
tamquam  amentia  iratus :  ilia  nobilior  animi  signifi- 
catio — quamlibet  magna  canum  et  venantium  urgu- 
ente  vi  contemptim  restitansque  cedit  in  campis  et 
ubi  spectari  potest;    idem  ubi  virgulta  silvasque 
penetravit  acerrimo  cursu  fertur  velut  abscondente 
turpitudinem  loco,    dum  sequitur  insilit  saltu,  quo 

51  in   fuga  non  utitur.     vulneratus  observatione  mira 
percussorem  novit  et  in  quantalibet  multitudine  ad- 

1  MayTioff?  2  Mayhoff:  in  illo. 

38 


BOOK  VIII.  xix.  48-51 

temperament,  or  with  chance,  as  to  this  point — that 
wild  animals  are  placated  by  appeals  addressed  to 
them,  inasmuch  as  experience  has  not  decided 
whether  it  be  true  or  false  that  even  serpents  can 
be  enticed  out  by  song  and  forced  to  submit  to 
chastisement.  Lions  indicate  their  state  of  mind  by 
means  of  their  tail,  as  horses  do  by  their  ears :  for 
Nature  has  assigned  even  these  means  of  expression 
to  all  the  noblest  animals.  Consequently  the  lion's 
tail  is  motionless  when  he  is  calm,  and  moves  gently 
when  he  wishes  to  cajole — which  is  seldom,  since 
anger  is  more  usual ;  at  the  onset  of  which  the  earth 
is  lashed,  and  as  the  anger  grows,  his  back  is  lashed 
as  if  for  a  mode  of  incitement.  A  lion's  greatest 
strength  is  in  the  chest.  Black  blood  flows  from 
every  wound,  whether  made  by  claw  or  tooth.  Yet 
when  lions  are  glutted  they  are  harmless.  The  lion's 
nobility  of  spirit  is  detected  most  in  dangers,  not 
merely  in  the  way  that  despising  weapons  he  protects 
himself  for  a  long  time  only  by  intimidation,  and 
protests  as  it  were  that  he  is  acting  under  compulsion, 
and  rises  to  the  encounter  not  as  if  forced  by  danger 
but  as  though  enraged  by  madness;  but  a  nobler 
indication  of  this  spirit  is  this,  that  however  large 
a  force  of  hounds  and  hunters  besets  him,  in  level 
plains  and  where  he  can  be  seen  he  retires  con- 
temptuously and  constantly  halting,  but  when  he 
has  made  his  way  into  brushwood  and  forest  he 
proceeds  at  top  speed,  as  if  aware  that  the  lie  of  the 
land  conceals  his  disgrace.  When  pursuing  he  advances 
by  leaps  and  bounds,  but  he  does  not  use  this  gait 
when  in  flight.  When  he  has  been  wounded  he 
marks  down  his  assailant  in  a  marvellous  way,  and 
knows  him  and  picks  him  out  in  however  large  a 

39 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

petit,  eum  vero  qui  telum  quidem  miserit  sed  non  vul- 
neraverit  correptum  rotatumque  sternit  nee  vulnerat. 
cum  pro  catulis  feta  dimicat,  oculorum  aciem  traditur 

52  defigere  in  terram  ne  venabula  expavescat.     cetero 
dolis  carent  et  suspicione,  nee  limis  intuentur  oculis 
aspicique  simili  modo  nolunt.     creditum  est  a  mo- 
riente    humum    morderi    lacrimamque    leto    dari. 
atque    hoc    tale    tamque  saevum  animal  rotarum 
orbes  circumacti  currusque  inanes  et  gallinaceorum 
cristae  cantusque  etiam  magis  terrent,  sed  maxime 
ignes.     aegritudinem  fastidii  tantum  sentit,  in  qua 
medetur  ei  contumelia,  in  rabiem  agent  e  adnexarum 1 
lascivia  simiarum ;  gustatus  deinde  sanguis  in  remedio 
est. 

53  XX.  Leonum    simul    plurium    pugnarn    Romae 
princeps  dedit  Q.  Scaevola  P.  f.  in  curuli  aedilitate, 
centum  autem  iubatorum  primus  omnium  L.  Sulla, 
qui    postea   dictator  fuit,  in  praetura;    post  eum 
Pompeius    Magnus    in  circo  DC,  in  iis   iubatorum 
cccxv,  Caesar  dictator  cccc. 

54  XXL  Capere    eos    ardui    erat    quondam    operis, 
foveisque  maxime.    principatu  Claudii  casus  ratio- 
nem  docuit  pudendam   paene    talis    ferae  nomine 
pastorem2  Gaetuliae,  sago  contra  ingruentis  impetum 
obiecto,    quod    spectaculum   in    harenam   protinus 

1  adversarum  vel  adnixarum  edd. 

2  Detlefsen  :  pastore  «a>pastore  Maylwff}. 


a  Consul  95  B.C.  b  93  B.C. 

'  49,  48,  46,  45  and  44  B.C. 


40 


BOOK  VIII.  xix.  SJ-XXL  54 

crowd,  Yet  a  person  who  discharges  a  weapon  at 
him  but  fails  to  wound  him  he  seizes  and  whirling 
him  round  flings  him  on  the  ground,  but  does  not 
wound  him.  It  is  said  that  when  a  mother  lion  is 
fighting  in  defence  of  her  cubs  she  fixes  the  gaze  of 
her  eyes  upon  the  ground  so  as  not  to  flinch  from  the 
hunting  spears.  Otherwise  lions  are  devoid  of  craft 
and  suspicion,  and  they  do  not  look  at  you  with  eyes 
askance  and  dislike  being  looked  at  in  a  similar  way. 
The  belief  has  been  held  that  a  dying  lion  bites  the 
earth  and  bestows  a  tear  upon  death.  Yet  though 
of  such  a  nature  and  of  such  ferocity  this  animal  is 
frightened  by  wheels  turning  round  and  by  empty 
chariots,  and  even  more  by  the  crested  combs  and 
the  crowing  of  cocks,  but  most  of  all  by  fires.  The 
only  malady  to  which  it  is  liable  is  that  of  distaste 
for  food ;  in  this  condition  it  can  be  cured  by  insult- 
ing treatment,  the  pranks  of  monkeys  tied  to  it 
driving  it  to  fury ;  and  then  tasting  their  blood  acts 
as  a  remedy. 

XX.  A  fight  with  several  lions  at  once  was  first  Lions  m  the 
bestowed  on  Rome  by  Quintus  Scaevola,a  son  of 
Publius,  when  consular  aedile,  but  the  first  of  all  who 
exhibited  a  combat  of  100  maned  lions  was  Lucius 

Sulla,  later  dictator,  in  his  praetorship.6  After  Sulla 
Pompey  the  Great  showed  in  the  Circus  600,  including 
315  with  manes,  and  Caesar  when  dictator c  4:00. 

XXI.  Capturing  lions  was  once  a  difficult  task,  The  capture 
chiefly  effected  by  means  of  pitfalls.    In  the  principate 

of  Claudius  accident  taught  a  Gaetulian  shepherd  a 
method  that  was  almost  one  to  be  ashamed  of  in  the 
case  of  a  wild  animal  of  this  nature :  when  it  charged 
he  flung  a  cloak  against  its  onset — a  feat  that  was 
immediately  transferred  to  the  arena  as  a  show, — the 

41 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

translation  est,  vix  credibili  modo  torpescente  tanta 
ilia  feritate  quamvis  levi  iniectu  operto  capita,  ita 
ut  devinciatur  non  repugnans.  videlicet  omnis  vis 
constat  in  oculis,  quo  minus  mirum  fit  1  a  Lysimacho 
Alexandri  iussu  simul  incluso  strangulatum  leonem. 

55  iugo   subdidit   eos   primus que   Romae   ad    currum 
iunxit   M.   Antonius,   et   quidem   civili  bello   cum 
dimicatum    esset    in    Pharsaliis    campis,    non    sine 
ostento     quodam    temporum,2    generosos    spiritus 
iugum  subire  illo  prodigio  significant e.     nam  quod 
ita  vectus  est  cum  mima  Cytheride,  super  monstra 
etiam    illarum    calamitatum    fuit.     primus    autem 
hominum  leonem  manu  tractare  ausus  et  ostendere 
mansuefactum  Hanno  e  clarissimis  Poenorum  traditur 
damnatusque   illo   argumento,    quoniam   nihil   non 
persuasurus  vir  tarn  artificis  ingenii  videbatur,   et 
male  credi  libertas  ei  cui  in  tantum  cessisset  etiam 
feritas. 

56  Sunt  vero  et  fortuitae  3  eorum  quoque  clementiae 
exempla.     Mentor    Syracusanus    in     Syria    leone 
obvio  suppliciter  volutante   attonitus  pavore,  cum 
refugienti  undique  fera  opponeret  sese  et  vestigia 
lamberet  adulanti  similis,  animadvertit  in  pede  eius 
tumorem    vulnusque;     extracto    surculo    liberavit 
cruciatu:    pictura  casum  hunc  testatur  Syracusis. 

1  v.l.  sit. 

2  Gelen  :  tempore  (tempore  <eo>  ?  Mayhoff}. 
8  Mayhoff :  fortuita. 

a  The  defeat  of  Pompey  by  Caesar,  48  B.C. 
42 


BOOK  VIII,  xxi,  54-56 

creature's  great  ferocity  abating  in  an  almost  in- 
credible manner  when  its  head  is  covered  with  even 
a  light  wrap,  with  the  result  that  it  is  vanquished 
without  showing  fight.  The  fact  is  that  all  its  strength 
is  concentrated  in  its  eyes,  which  makes  it  less 
remarkable  that  when  Lysimachus  by  order  of 
Alexander  was  shut  up  in  a  lion's  cage  he  succeeded 
in  strangling  it.  Mark  Antony  broke  lions  to  the 
yoke  and  was  the  first  person  at  Home  to  harness 
them  to  a  chariot,  and  this  in  fact  during  the  civil 
war,  after  the  decisive  battle  a  in  the  plains  of  Phar- 
salia,  not  without  some  intention  of  exhibiting  the 
position  of  affairs,  the  portentous  feat  signifying  that 
generous  spirits  can  bow  to  a  yoke.  For  his  riding 
in  this  fashion  with  the  actress  Cytheris  at  his  side 
was  a  thing  that  outdid  even  the  portentous  occur- 
rences of  that  disastrous  period.  It  is  recorded  that 
Hanno,  one  of  the  most  distinguished  of  the  Cartha- 
ginians, was  the  first  human  being  who  dared  to 
handle  a  lion  and  exhibit  it  as  tamed,  and  that  this 
supplied  a  reason  for  his  impeachment,  because  it 
was  felt  that  a  man  of  such  an  artful  character 
might  persuade  the  public  to  anything,  and  that 
their  liberty  was  ill  entrusted  to  one  to  whom  even 
ferocity  had  so  completely  submitted. 

But  there  are  also  instances  of  occasional  merciful- 
ness  even  in  lions.  The  Syracusan  Mentor  in  Syria 
met  a  lion  that  rolled  on  the  ground  in  suppliant  fffa^ude. 
wise  and  struck  such  terror  into  him  that  he  was 
running  away,  when  the  lion  stood  in  his  way  wherever 
he  turned,  and  licked  his  footsteps  as  if  fawning 
on  him;  he  noticed  a  swelling  and  a  wound  in  its 
foot,  and  by  pulling  out  a  thorn  set  the  creature 
free  from  torment ;  a  picture  at  Syracuse  is  evidence 

43 


PLINY:    NATUEAL  HISTORY 

57  Simili  modo  Elpis  Samius  natione  in  Africam  delatus 
nave  iuxta  litus  conspecto  leone  hiatu  minaci  arbo- 
rem  fuga  petit  Libero  patre  invocato,  quoniam  turn 
praecipuus  votorum  locus  est  cum  spei  nullus  est. 
neque   profugienti,  cum  potuisset,  fera  institerat, 
et    procumbens    ad   arbor  em   hiatu    quo    terruerat 
miserationem    quaerebat.     os    morsu    avidiore    in- 
haeserat  dentibus  cruciabatque  media,  non  tantum l 
poena   in   ipsis   eius   telis,   suspectantem   ac   velut 
mutis    precibus    orantem,    dum2   fortuitis3    fides4 

58  non   est   contra  feram,  multoque  diutius  miraculo 
quam  metu  cessatur.    set 5  degressus  tandem  evellit 
praebenti  et  qua  maxime  opus  esset  adcommodanti ; 
traduntque  quamdiu  navis  ea  in  litore  steterit  re- 
tulisse  gratiam  venatus  adgerendo.     qua  de  causa 
Libero  patri  templum  in  Samo  Elpis  sacravit,  quod 
ab  eo  facto  Graeci  KC^VOTOS  AiovuVov  appellavere. 
ne  miremur   postea  vestigia  hominum  intellegi   a 
feris,  cum  etiam  auxilia  ab  uno  animalium  sperent: 
cur  enim  non  ad  alia  iere,  aut  unde  medicas  manus 
hominis  sciunt  ?    nisi  forte  vis  malorum  etiam  feras 
omnia  experiri  cogit. 

59  Aeque  memorandum  et  de  panthera  tradit  De- 

1  Mayhoff :  ntantum  aut  tantum. 

2  dum — cessatur  ?  supra  ante  neque  prof  ugienti  transponenda 


8  Sillig  :  fortuita.  4  Mayhoff?  :  fidens, 

5  Mayhoff  ?  :  cessatum  est. 

0  Perhaps  '  wMe  chance  .  .  .  alarm '  should  be  moved  up  to 
come  before  *  The  beast  had  not  stood  in  his  way.5 

44 


BOOK  VIII.  xxi.  57-59 

of  this  occurrence.  In  a  similar  manner  a  native  of 
Samos  named  Elpis  on  landing  from  a  ship  in  Africa, 
saw  near  the  coast  a  lion  opening  its  jaws  in  a 
threatening  way,  and  took  refuge  up  a  tree,  calling 
on  Father  Liber  for  help,  since  the  chief  occasion 
for  praying  is  an  emergency  where  there  is  no  room 
for  hope.  The  beast  had  not  stood  in  his  way  when 
he  tried  to  run  away  although  it  might  have  done, 
and  lying  down  by  the  tree  began  to  beg  for  com- 
passion with  the  gaping  jaws  by  which  it  had  scared 
the  man.  Owing  to  its  biting  its  food  too  greedily  a 
bone  had  stuck  in  its  teeth,  and  was  tormenting  it 
with  starvation  and  not  merely  with  the  punishment 
contained  in  the  actual  prickles,  as  it  gazed  up  and 
looked  as  if  making  a  silent  prayer  for  aid — while 
chance  events  are  not  to  be  relied  on  in  face  of  a 
wild  animal,  and  much  longer  hesitation  is  caused 
by  surprise  than  by  alarm.a  But  finally  he  came 
down  and  pulled  out  the  bone  for  the  lion,  which 
held  out  its  foot  to  him  and  adjusted  it  at  the  most 
necessary  angle ;  and  they  say  that  as  long  as  that 
vessel  remained  on  the  coast  the  lion  displayed  its 
gratitude  by  bringing  its  catches  to  its  benefactor. 
This  led  Elpis  to  consecrate  in  Samos  a  temple  to 
Father  Liber,  to  which  from  that  occurrence  the 
Greeks  have  given  the  name  of  Temple  of  Dionysus 
with  his  Mouth  Open.  After  this  do  not  let  us  be 
surprised  that  men's  tracks  are  recognized  by  wild 
beasts  when  they  actually  hope  for  assistance  from 
one  of  the  animal  race :  for  why  did  they  not  go  to 
other  animals,  or  how  do  they  know  of  man's  healing 
touch  ?  Unless  perchance  violent  maladies  force  even 
wild  animals  to  every  expedient. 
The  natural  philosopher  Demetrius  also  records  an 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

metrius  physicus,  iacentem  in  media  via  hominis 
desiderio  repente  apparuisse  patri  cuiusdam  Philini 
adsectatoris  sapientiae.  ilium  pavore  coepisse  re- 
gredi,  feram  vero  circumvolutari  non  dubie  blan- 
dientem  seseque  conflictantem  maerore  qui  etiam 
in  panthera  intellegi  possit :  feta  erat  catulis  procul 

60  in  foveam  delapsis.    primum  ergo  miserationis  fuit 
non  expavescere,  proximum   et  curam  intendere; 
secutusque    qua    trahebat    vestem    unguium    levi 
iniectu,  ut  causam  doloris  intellexit  simulque  salutis 
suae  mercedem,  exemit  catulos,  ea  cum  his  prose- 
quente  usque  extra  solitudines  deductus  laeta  atque 
gestiente,  ut  facile   appareret  gratiam   referre   et 
nihil  in  vicem  inputare,  quod  etiam  in  homine  rarum 
est. 

61  XXII.  Haec   fidem   et   Democrito   adferunt   qui 
Thoantem  in  Arcadia  servatum  a  dracone  narrat. 
nutrierat  eum  puer  dilectum  admodum,  parensque 
serpentis    naturam    et   magnitudmem   metuens    in 
solitudines  tulerat,  in  quibus  circumvento  latronum 
insidiis    agnitoque    voce    subvenit.    nam    quae    de 
infantibus  ferarum  lacte  nutritis  cum  essent  expositi 
produntur,    sicut    de    conditoribus    nostris    a  lupa, 
magnitudini  fatorum  accepta  referri x  aequius  quam 
ferarum  naturae  arbitror. 

1  Rackham  :  ferri  aut  fieri. 


BOOK  VIII.  XXL  59-xxn.  61 

equally  remarkable  story  about  a  panther,  which  out 
of  desire  for  human  aid  lay  in  the  middle  of  a  road, 
where  the  father  of  a  certain  student  of  philosophy 
named  Philinus  suddenly  came  in  sight  of  it.  The 
man,  so  the  story  goes,  began  to  retreat,  but  the 
animal  rolled  over  on  its  back,  obviously  trying  to 
cajole  him,  and  tormented  by  sorrow  that  was  intel- 
ligible even  in  a  panther :  she  had  a  litter  of  cubs 
that  had  fallen  into  a  pit  some  distance  away.  The 
first  result  of  his  compassion  therefore  was  not  to  be 
frightened,  and  the  next  to  give  her  his  attention ; 
and  he  followed  where  she  drew  him  by  lightly 
touching  his  clothes  with  her  claws,  and  when  he 
understood  the  cause  of  her  grief  and  at  the  same 
time  the  recompense  due  for  his  own  security,  he 
got  the  cubs  out  of  the  pit ;  and  the  panther  with  her 
young  escorted  him  right  to  the  edge  of  the  desert, 
guiding  him  with  gestures  of  delight  that  made  it 
quite  clear  that  she  was  expressing  gratitude  and 
not  reckoning  on  any  recompense,  which  is  rare  even 
in  a  human  being. 

XXII.  These  stories  give  credibility  to  Demo- 
critus  also,  who  tells  a  tale  of  Thoas  in  Arcadia 
being  saved  by  a  snake.  When  a  boy  he  had  fed  it 
and  made  a  great  pet  of  it,  and  his  parent  being 
afraid  of  the  snake's  nature  and  size  had  taken  it 
away  into  an  uninhabited  region,  where  it  recognized 
Thoas 's  voice  and  came  to  his  rescue  when  he  was 
entrapped  by  an  ambush  of  brigands.  For  as  to  the 
reports  about  infants  when  they  had  been  exposed 
being  fed  by  the  milk  of  wild  animals,  as  well  as 
those  about  our  founders  being  nursed  by  a  she-wolf, 
I  deem  it  more  reasonable  for  them  to  be  credited  to 
the  grandeur  of  their  destinies  than  to  the  nature 
of  the  wild  animals. 

47 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

62  XXI II.  Panther  a  et  tigris  macularum  varietate 
prope  solae  bestiarum  spectantur,  ceteris  unus  ac 
suus  cuique   generi  color   est,  leonum  tantum   in 
Syria  niger.    pantheris  in  candido  breves  macularum 
oculi.     ferunt   odore  earum  mire  sollicitari  quadri- 
pedes  cunctas,  sed  capitis  torvitate  terreri;   quamo- 
brem  occultato  eo  reliqua  dulcedine  invitatas  corri- 
piunt.     sunt  qui  tradant  in  armo  iis  similem  lunae 
esse  maculam  crescentem  in  orbem  seque  1  cavan- 

63  tern 2    pari   modo 3     nunc    varias,    et   pardos    qui 
mares  sunt,  appellant  in  eo  omni  genere,  creberrimo 
in  Africa  Syriaque ;  quidam  ab  his  pantheras  candore 
solo  discermmt,  nee  adhuc  aliam  differentiam  inveni. 

64  XXIV.  Senatus  consultum  fuit   vetus  ne  liceret 
Africanas  in  Italiam  advehere.    contra  hoc  tulit  ad 
populum  Cn.  Aufidius  tribunus  plebis,  permisitque 
circensium  gratia  inportare.    primus  autem  Scaurus 
in 4  aedilitate  sua  varias    CL   universas   misit,  dein 
Pompeius   Magnus   ccccx,   divus   Augustus   ccccxx. 

65  XXV.  idem   Q.   Tuberone  Paullo   Fabio    Maxumo 
coss.  mi.  non.   Mai.  theatri   Marcelli    dedications 
tigrim  primus   omnium  Romae   ostendit  in  cavea 
mansuefactam,  divus  vero  Claudius  simul  mi. 

1  Mayhoff  :  orbem  et.  2  curvantem  DetUfsen. 

8  v.l.  modo  cornua.  4  in  add.  Probeen. 

0  I.e.  in  the  shape  of  a  crescent  moon,  bounded  by  a  convex 
and  a  concave  curve. 

6  114  B.C.  c  58  B.C.  *  11  B,c. 


BOOK  VIII.  xxm.  62-xxv,  65 

XXIII.  The  panther  and  the  tiger  almost  alone  of  ?he  pcmauir. 
beasts  are  distinguished  by  a  variety  of  markings, 
whereas  the  rest  have  a  single  colour,  each  kind  having 

its  own — black  in  the  case  of  lions  in  Syria  only. 
Panthers  have  small  spots  like  eyes  on  a  light 
ground.  It  is  said  that  all  four-footed  animals  are 
wonderfully  attracted  by  their  smell,  but  frightened 
by  the  savage  appearance  of  their  head ;  for  which 
reason  they  catch  them  by  hiding  their  head  and 
enticing  them  to  approach  by  their  other  attractions. 
Some  authorities  report  that  they  have  a  mark  on 
the  shoulder  resembling  a  moon,  expanding  into  a 
circle  and  hollowed  out  in  a  similar  manner.a  As  it  is, 
people  use  the  name  '  spotted  ladies ',  and  for  the 
males  *  pards  ',  in  the  whole  of  this  genus,  which 
occurs  most  frequently  in  Africa  and  Syria;  some 
persons  distinguish  panthers  from  these  by  their 
light  colour  only,  nor  have  I  hitherto  discovered  any 
other  difference. 

XXIV.  There  was  an  old  Resolution  of  the  Senate  importation 
prohibiting  the  importation  of  African  elephants  into 

Italy.  Gnaeus  Aufidius  when  Tribune  of  the  Plebs b  «AOM*. 
carried  in  the  Assembly  of  the  People  a  resolution 
repealing  this  and  allowing  them  to  be  imported  for 
shows  in  the  Circus.  But  Scaurus  in  his  aedileship' 
first  sent  in  procession  150  female  leopards  in  one 
flock,  then  Pompey  the  Great  410,  and  the  late 
lamented  Augustus  420.  XXV.  Augustus  also,  in 
the  consulship^  of  Marcus  Tubero  and  Paullus 
Fabius,  at  the  dedication  of  the  Theatre  of 
Marcellus,  on  May  7,  was  the  first  of  all  persons  at 
Rome  who  exhibited  a  tamed  tiger  in  a  cage,  although 
his  late  Majesty  Claudius  exhibited  four  at  one 
time. 

i0854.'P          49- 

VOL.   III.  E 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

66  Tigrim  Hyrcani  et  Indi  ferunt,  animal  velocitatis 
tremendae,  et  maxime  cognitae  dum  capitur  totus 
eius  fetus ,  qui  semper  numerosus  est.  ab  insidiante 
rapitur  equo  quam  maxime  pernici,  atque  in  recentes 
subinde  transfertur.     at  ubi  vacuum  cubile  reperit 
feta   (maribus    enim   subolis   cura   non    est)   fertur 
praeceps   odore  vestigans.    raptor  adpropinquante 
fremitu  abicit  unum  ex  catulis.    tollit  ilia  morsu  et 
pondere  etiam  ocior  acta  remeat  iterumque  conse- 
quitur,  ac  subinde  donee  in  navem  regresso  inrita 
feritas  saevit  in  lit  ore. 

67  XXVI.  Camelos    inter    armenta    pascit    oriens, 
quarum  duo  genera,  Bactriae  et  Arabiae,  diiFerunt, 
quod  illae  bina  habent  tubera  in  dorso,  hae  singula  et 
sub  pectore  alterum  cui  incumbant :  dentium  superi- 
ore  ordine  ut  boves  carent  in  utroque  genere.     omnes 
autem  iumentorum  ministeriis  dorso  funguntur  atque 
etiam  equitatus  in  proeliis ;    velocitas  infra  equos.1 

68  sed  cuique  mensura  sicuti  vires ;  nee  ultra  adsuetum 
procedit  spatium,  nee  plus  instituto  onere  recipit. 
odium  adversus  equos  gerunt  naturale.      sitim  et 
quadriduo    tolerant,    implenturque    cum     bibendi 
occasio  est  et  in  praeteritum  et  in  futurum,  obturbata 
proculcatione  prius  aqua:   aliter  potu  non  gaudent. 
vivunt  quinquagenis   annis,  quaedam  et  centenis; 

1  Detlefsen  :  inter  equos  (ut  equos  Mayhoff). 
50 


BOOK  VIII.  xxv.  66-xxvi.  68 

Hyrcania  and  India  produce  the  tiger,  an  animal  Tiger 
of  terrific  speed,  which  is  most  noticeable  when  the  hunUn^ 
whole  of  its  litter,  which  is  always  numerous,  is 
being  captured.  The  litter  is  taken  by  a  man  lying 
in  wait  with  the  swiftest  horse  obtainable,  and  is 
transferred  successively  to  fresh  horses.  But  when 
the  mother  tiger  finds  the  lair  empty  (for  the  males 
do  not  look  after  their  young)  she  rushes  off  at  head- 
long speed,  tracking  them  by  scent.  The  captor 
when  her  roar  approaches  throws  away  one  of  the 
cubs.  She  snatches  it  up  in  her  mouth,  and  returns 
and  resumes  the  pursuit  at  even  a  faster  pace  owing 
to  her  burden,  and  so  on  in  succession  until  the  hunter 
has  regained  the  ship  and  her  ferocity  rages  vainly 
on  the  shore. 

XXVI.  The  East  pastures  camels  among  its  flocks  The  camel 
of  cattle ;  of  these  there  are  two  kinds,  the  Bactrian  frvmedanj. 
and  the  Arabian,  which  differ  in  that  the  former  have 
two  humps  on  the  back  and  the  latter  one,  with  a 
second  hump  beneath  the  chest  on  which  they  can 
rest  their  weight;  but  both  kinds  resemble  oxen 
in  having  no  teeth  in  the  upper  jaw.  All  however 
perform  the  services  of  beasts  of  burden,  and  also  of 
cavalry  in  battles;  their  speed  is  below  that  of 
horses.  But  the  two  kinds  differ  in  dimensions,  as 
also  in  strength ;  and  a  camel  will  not  travel  beyond 
its  customary  march,  nor  carry  more  than  the  regula- 
tion load.  They  possess  an  innate  hatred  for  horses. 
They  can  endure  thirst  for  as  much  as  four  days,  and 
when  they  have  an  opportunity  they  replenish  them- 
selves both  for  the  past  interval  and  for  the  future, 
stirring  up  the  water  by  trampling  with  their  fore 
feet  before  they  drink — otherwise  they  do  not  enjoy 
the  draught.  They  live  for  fifty  years,  some  even 

5* 

E2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

utcumque  rabiem  ct  ipsae  sentiunt.  castrandi  genus 
etiam  feminas  quae  bello  praeparantui*  inventum  est : 
fortiores  ita  fiunt  coitu  negate. 

69  XXVII.  Harum  aliqua  similitude  in  duo  transfer- 
tur  animalia.     nabun  Aethiopes  vocant  collo  siniilem 
equo,  pedibus  et  cruribus  bovi,  camelo  capite,  albis 
maculis,    rutilum    colorem    distinguentibus,    unde 
appellata  camelopardalis,  dictatoris  Caesaris  circensi- 
bus    ludis    primum    visa    Romae.     ex    eo    subinde 
cernitur  aspectu  magis  quam  feritate  conspicua,  quare 
etiam  ovis  ferae  nomen  invenit. 

70  XXVIII.  Pompei  Magni  primum  ludi  ostenderunt 
chama,  quem  Galli  rufium  vocabant,  effigie  lupi, 
pardorum  maculis,  iidem  ex  Aethiopia  quas  vocant 
cephoSj1  quarum  pedes  posteriores  pedibus  humanis 
et    cruribus,   prior es   manibus    fuere   similes,     hoc 
animal  postea  Roma  non  vidit. 

71  XXIX.  Isdem  ludis   et  rhinoceros  unius  in  nare 
cornus,  qualis  saepe  visus.     alter  hie  genitus  hostis 
elephanto  cornu  ad  saxa  limato  praeparat  se  pugnae, 
in  dimicatione  alvum  maxime  petens,   quam  scit 
esse    molliorem.    longitudo    ei    par,    crura    multo 
breviora,  color  buxeus. 

72  XXX.  Lyncas  vulgo  frequentes  et  sphingas  fusco 
pilo,  mammis  in  pectore  geminis,  Aethiopia  generat, 
multaque  alia  monstris  similia,  pinnatos  equos  et 
cornibus    armatos    quos    pegasos    vocant,    crocotas 

1  Krjrrovs  Hardouin  e  Diodoro. 

a  The  giraffe. 

b  55  B.C. 

c  Possibly  baboons. 

d  The  Indian  species.    The  African  has  two  horns. 

6  Unidentified. 

52 


BOOK  VIII.  xxvi.  68-xxx.  72 

for  a  hundred;  although  even  camels  are  liable  to 
rabies.  A  method  has  been  discovered  of  gelding 
even  the  females  intended  for  war ;  this  by  denying 
them  intercourse  increases  their  strength. 

XXVII.  Some  resemblance  to  these  is  passed  on  to  ne  giraffe. 
two  animals.    The  Ethiopians  give  the  name  of 

nabun  to  one  that  has  a  neck  like  a  horse,  feet  and 
legs  like  an  ox,  and  a  head  like  a  camel,  and  is  of  a 
ruddy  colour  picked  out  with  white  spots,  owing  to 
which  it  is  called  a  cameloparda;  it  was  first  seen  at 
Rome  at  the  games  in  the  Circus  given  by  Caesar 
when  dictator.  From  this  it  has  subsequently  been 
recognized  to  be  more  remarkable  for  appearance 
than  for  ferocity,  and  consequently  it  has  also  got 
the  name  of  wild  sheep.' 

XXVIII.  The  games6  of  Pompey  the  Great  first  TUiynx. 
displayed  the  chama,  which  the  Gauls  used  to  call 

the  lynx,  with  the  shape  of  a  wolf  and  leopard's 
spots;  the  same  show  exhibited  what  they  call 
cephic  from  Ethiopia,  which  have  hind  feet  resembling 
the  feet  of  a  man  and  legs  and  fore  feet  like  hands. 
Rome  has  not  seen  this  animal  subsequently. 

XXIX.  At  the  same  games  there  was  also  a  rhino-  The 
ceros  with  one  horn  *  on  the  nose  such  as  has  often  been r7imoce™ 
seen.    Another  bred  here  to  fight  matches  with  an 
elephant  gets  ready  for  battle  by  filing  its  horns  on 
rocks,  and  in  the  encounter  goes  specially  for  the 
belly,  which  it  knows  to  be  softer.    It  equals  an 
elephant  in  length,  but  its  legs  are  much  shorter, 

and  it  is  the  colour  of  box-wood. 

XXX.  Ethiopia  produces  lynxes  in  great  numbers,  Fauna  of 
and  sphinxes e  with  brown  hair  and  a  pair  of  udders 

on  the  breast,  and  many  other  monstrosities—winged 
horses  armed  with  horns,  called  pegasi,  hyenas  like  a 

53 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

velut  ex  cane  lupoque  conceptos,  omnia  dentibus 
frangentes  protinusque  devorata  confidantes  ventre, 
cercopithecos  nigris  capitibus,  pilo  asini  et  dissimiles 
ceteris  voce;  Indices  boves  unicornes  tricornesque, 
leucrocotam  pernicissimam  feram  asini  fere  magni- 
tudine,  clunibus  cervinis,  collo,  cauda,  pectore  leonis, 
capite  melium,  bisulca  ungula,  ore  ad  aures  usque 

73  rescisso,  dentium  locis  osse  perpetuo — hanc  feram 
humanas  voces  tradunt  imitari.  apud  eosdem  et 
quae  vocatur  eale,  magnitudine  equi  fluviatilis, 
cauda  elephanti,  colore  nigra  vel  fulva,  maxillis  apri, 
maiora  cubitalibus  cornua  habens  mobilia  quae 
alterna  in  pugna  se  1  sistunt  varieque  2  infesta  aut 

7-1  obliqua,  utcumque  ratio  monstravit.  sed  atrocissi- 
mos  habet 3  tauros  silvestres  maiores  agrestibus, 
velocitate  ante  omnis,  colore  falvos,  oculis  caeruleis, 
pilo  in  contrarium  verso,  rictu  ad  aures  dehiscente, 
iuxta  cornua  mobilia;  tergori  duritia  silicis  omne 
I'espuens  vulnus.  feras  omnis  venantur,  ipsi  non 
aliter  quam  foveis  capti  feritate  semper  intereunt. 

75  apud  eosdem  4  nasci  Ctesias  scribit  quam  manticho- 
ran  appellat,  triplici  dentium  ordine  pectinatim 
coeuntium,  facie  et  auriculis  hominis,  oculis  glaucis, 
colore  sanguineo,  corpore  leonis,  cauda  scorpionis 
modo  spicula  infigentem,  vocis  ut  si  misceatur  fistulae 

1  se  ?  add.  MayTioff. 

2  Sillig :  variaque  aut  variatque. 

3  habet  add.  edd. 

*  apud  Indos  dein  ?  Mayhoff. 

a  The  rhinoceros  again.  b  Another  sort  of  hyena. 

0  This  mythical  animal  is  used  in  heraldry,  e.g.  as  the 
supporters  of  the  shield  of  Lady  Margaret  Beaufort,  mother 
of  King  Henry  VII. 

d  Or  possibly  *  with  horns  equally  mobile  as  the  yale's '. 

54 


BOOK  VIII.  xxx.  72-75 

cross  between  a  dog  and  a  wolf,  that  break  every- 
thing with  their  teeth,  swallow  it   at  a  gulp   and 
masticate  it  in  the  belly ;  tailed  monkeys  with  black 
heads,  ass's  hair  and  a  voice  unlike  that  of  any  other 
species  of  ape ;  Indian  oxen  a  with  one  and  with  three 
horns ;  the  leucrocotaf  swiftest  of  wild  beasts,  about 
the  size  of  an  ass,  with  a  stag's  haunches,  a  lion's 
neck,  tail  and  breast,  badger's  head,  cloven  hoof, 
mouth  opening  right  back  to  the  ears,  and  ridges  of 
bone   in  place   of    rows   of    teeth — this   animal    is 
reported  to  imitate  the   voices   of  human  beings. 
Among  the  same  people  is  also  found  the  animal 
called  the  yale,c  the  size  of  a  hippopotamus,  with  an 
elephant's  tail,  of  a  black  or  tawny  colour,  with  the 
jaws  of  a  boar  and  movable  horns  more  than  a  cubit 
in  length  which  in  a  fight  are  erected  alternately, 
and  presented  to  the  attack  or  sloped  backward  in 
turn  as  policy  directs.     But  its  fiercest  animals  are 
forest  bulls,  larger  than  the  bulls  of  the  field,  sur- 
passing all  in  speed,  of  a  tawny  colour,  with  blue 
eyes,  hair  turned  backward,  mouth  gaping  open  to 
the  ears,  along  with  mobile  horns  d ;  the  hide  has  the 
hardness    of  flint,   rejecting    every    wound.     They 
hunt  all  wild  animals,  but  themselves  can  only  be 
caught  in  pits,  and  when  caught  always  die  game. 
Ctesias  writes  that  in  the  same  country  *  is  born  the 
creature  that  he  calls  the  mantickora/  which  has  a 
triple  row  of  teeth  meeting  like  the  teeth  of  a  comb, 
the  face  and  ears  of  a  human  being,  grey  eyes,  a 
blood-red  colour,  a  lion's  body,  inflicting  stings  with 
its  tail  in  the  manner  of  a  scorpion,  with  a  voice  like 

e  Perhaps  the  text  should  be  altered  to  give  *  next  in  the 
Indians'  country,' 
*  Fabulous, 

55 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

et   tubae   concentus,   velocitatis   magnae,    humani 

76  corporis  vel  praecipue  adpetentem.     XXXI.  in  India 
et  boves  solidis  ungulis  unicornes,  et  feram  nomine 
axin  hinnuleipelle,pluribus  candidioribusque  maculis, 
sacrorum  1  Liberi  patris  (Orsaei  Indi  simias  candentes 
toto  corpore  venantur),  asperrimam  autem  feram 
monocerotem,  reliquo  corpore  equo  similem,  capite 
cervo,  pedibus  elephanto,  cauda  apro,  mugitu  gravi, 
uno    cornu   nigro   media   fronte   cubitorum    duum 
eminente.     hanc  feram  vivam  negant  capi, 

77  XXXII.  Apud  Hesperios  Aethiopas  fons  est  Nigris, 
ut  plerique  existimavere,  Nili  caput,,  ut  argumenta 
quae  diximus  persuadent.    iuxta  hunc  fera  appella- 
tur  catoblepas,  modica  alioqui  ceterisque  membris 
iners,   caput  tantum   praegrave   aegre  ferens,  id 2 
deiectum  semper  in  terram,  alias  internicio  humani 
generis,  omnibus  qui  oculos  eius  videre  confestim 
expirantibus. 

78  XXXIII.  Eadem    et    basilisci   serpentis    est    vis. 
Cyrenaica  hunc  generat  provincia,  duodecim  non 
amplius  digitorum  magnitudine,  Candida  in  capite 
macula    ut    quodam    diademate    insignem.     sibilo 
omnis  fugat  serpentes,  nee  flexu  multiplici  ut  reliquae 
corpus  inpellit  sed  celsus  et  erectus  in  medio  incedens. 

1  sacram  edd. 

2  ideo  ?  Mayhoff. 

a  Again  an  echo  of  the  rhinoceros,  confused  with  the  ante- 
lope; and  the  same  hybrid  in  a  more  lurid  shape  recurs  below 
in  the  unicorn. 

*  Possibly  a  spotted  deer  of  India. 

0  Mayhoff  notes  that  this  sentence  looks  as  if  wrongly 
inserted  here. 

*  N.W.  Africa  (nowhere  near  the  Nile). 

*  '  The  downwarcl-lQQker,'  perhaps  the  gnu, 

56 


BOOK  VIII.  xxx.  75-xxxm.  78 

the  sound  of  a  pan-pipe  blended  with  a  trumpet,  of 
great  speed,  with  a  special  appetite  for  human 
flesh.  XXXI.  He  says  that  in  India  there  are  also  Fauna  of 
oxen  with  solid  hoofs  and  one  horn,a  and  a  wild  animal India- 
named  axis,13  with  the  hide  of  a  fawn  but  with  more 
spots  and  whiter  ones,  belonging  to  the  ritual  of 
Father  Liber  (the  Orsaean  Indians  hunt  monkeys 
that  are  a  bright  white  all  over  the  body) c ;  but  that 
the  fiercest  animal  is  the  unicorn,  which  in  the  rest 
of  the  body  resembles  a  horse,  but  in  the  head  a 
stag,  in  the  feet  an  elephant,  and  in  the  tail  a  boar, 
and  has  a  deep  bellow,  and  a  single  black  horn  three 
feet  long  projecting  from  the  middle  of  the  forehead. 
They  say  that  it  is  impossible  to  capture  this  animal 
alive. 

XXXII.  In  Western  Ethiopia'2  there  is  a  spring,  iaum  of 
the  Nigris,  which  most  people  have  supposed  to  be  ^c*a 
the  source  of  the  Nile,  as  they  try  to  prove  by  the 
arguments  that  we  have  stated.     In  its  neighbour- 
hood there  is  an  animal  called  the  catoblepas,6  in  other 
respects  of  moderate  size  and  inactive  with  the  rest 

of  its  limbs,  only  with  a  very  heavy  head  which  it 
carries  with  difficulty — it  is  always  hanging  down  to 
the  ground ;  otherwise  it  is  deadly  to  the  human  race, 
as  all  who  see  its  eyes  expire  immediately. 

XXXIII.  The  basilisk/  serpent  also  has  the  same  ne 
power.    It  is  a  native  of  the  province  of  Cyrenaica, basihsk- 
not  more  than  12  inches  long,  and  adorned  with 

a  bright  white  marking  on  the  head  like  a  sort  of 
diadem.  It  routs  all  snakes  with  its  hiss,  and  does 
not  move  its  body  forward  in  manifold  coils  like  the 
other  snakes  but  advancing  with  its  middle  raised 
high,  It  kills  bushes  not  only  by  its  touch  but  also 

An  imaginary  monster. 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

necat  frutices  non  contactos  modo  verum  et  adflatos, 
exurit  herbas,  rumpit  saxa.  aliis  *  vis  malo  est : 
creditur  quondam  ex  equo  occisum  hasta  et  per  earn 
subeunte  vi  non  equitem  modo  sed  equum  quoque 

79  absumptum.     atqui 2  huic  tali  monstro — saepe  enim 
enectum    concupivere    reges    videre — mustellarum 
virus  exitio  est :   adeo  naturae  nihil  placuit  esse  sine 
pare,  iniciunt 3  hos  4  cavernis  facile  cognitis  soli  tabe ; 
necant  illae  simul  odore  moriunturque,  et  naturae 
pugna  conficitur. 

80  XXXIV.  Sed  in  Italia  quoque  creditur  luporum 
visus  esse  noxius,  vocemque  homini  quern  priores 
contemplentur  adimere   ad  praesens.    inertes    hos 
parvosque    Africa    et    Aegytus    gignunt,    asperos 
trucesque   frigidior  plaga.     homines  in.  lupos  vertl 
rursusque  restitui  sibi  falsum  esse  confldenter  existi- 
mare  debemus  aut  credere  omnia  quae  fabulosa  tot 
saeculis  conperimus;   unde  tamen  ista  volgo  infixa 
sit  fama  intantum  ut  in  maledictis  versipelles  habeat 

81  indicabitur.    Euanthes  inter  auctores  Graeciae  non 
spretus  scribit  Arcadas  tradere 5  ex  gente  Anthi 
cuiusdam  sorte  familiae  lectum  ad  stagnum  quod- 
dam  regionis  eius  duci  vestituque  in  quercu  suspense 
tranare  atque  abire  in  deserta  transfigurarique  in 
lupum  et  cum  ceteris  eiusdem  generis  congregari  per 

1  v.l.  talis. 

2  Rackham:  atque. 

3  Gelen  (cf.  35. 169) :  interficiunt  (inferciunt  Sol). 
*  SackJiam  :  has  aut  eos. 

5  Mayhoff :  tradit  Arcadas  scribere. 


0  Imaginary. 

58 


BOOK  VIIL  xxxin.  78-xxxiv.  81 

by  its  breath,  scorches  up  grass  and  bursts  rocks. 
Its  effect  on  other  animals  is  disastrous :  it  is  believed 
that  once  one  was  killed  with  a  spear  by  a  man  on 
horseback  and  the  infection  rising  through  the  spear 
killed  not  only  the  rider  but  also  the  horse.  Yet  to 
a  creature  so  marvellous  as  this — indeed  kings  have 
often  wished  to  see  a  specimen  when  safely  dead — 
the  venom  of  weasels  is  fatal :  so  fixed  is  the  decree 
of  nature  that  nothing  shall  be  without  its  match. 
They  throw  the  basilisks  into  weasels'  holes,  which  are 
easily  known  by  the  foulness  of  the  ground,  and  the 
weasels  kill  them  by  their  stench  and  die  themselves 
at  the  same  time,  and  nature's  battle  is  accomplished. 
XXXIV.  But  in  Italy  also  it  is  believed  that  the : 
sight  of  wolves  is  harmful,  and  that  if  they  look  at  a  ^/-T^ 
man  before  he  sees  them,  it  temporarily  deprives  lywt. 
him  of  utterance.  The  wolves  produced  in  Africa 
and  Egypt  are  feeble  and  small,  but  those  of  colder 
regions  are  cruel  and  fierce.  We  are  bound  to 
pronounce  with  confidence  that  the  story  of  men 
being  turned  into  wolves  and  restored  to  themselves 
again  is  false—or  else  we  must  believe  all  the  tales 
that  the  experience  of  so  many  centuries  has  taught 
us  to  be  fabulous ;  nevertheless  we  will  indicate  the 
origin  of  the  popular  belief,  which  is  so  firmly  rooted 
that  it  classes  werewolves  a  among  persons  under  a 
curse.  Evanthes,  who  holds  no  contemptible  position 
among  the  authors  of  Greece,  writes  that  the  Ar- 
cadians have1  a  tradition  that  someone  chosen  out  of 
the  clan  of  a  certain  Anthus  by  casting  lots  among 
the  family  is  taken  to  a  certain  marsh  in  that  region, 
and  hanging  his  clothes  on  an  oak-tree  swims  across 
the  water  and  goes  away  into  a  desolate  place  and  is 
transformed  into  a  wolf  and  herds  with  the  others 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

annos  ix;  quo  in  tempore  si  homine  se  abstinuerit, 
reverti  ad  idem  stagnum  et,  cum  tranaverit,  effigiem 
recipere,  ad  pristinum  habitum  addito  novem  annorum 
senio,  addit 1  quoque  fabulosius 2  eandem  reciperare 

82  vestem !     mirum     est    quo    procedat    Graeca    cre- 
dulitas :    nullum  tam  inpudens  mendacium  est  ut 
teste    careat.      item    Apollas 3    qui    Olympionicas 
scripsit  narrat  Demaenetum  Parrhasium  in  sacrificio 
quod  Arcades  lovi  Lycaeo  humana  etiamtum  hostia 
faciebant,  immolati  pueri  exta  degustasse  et  in  lu- 
pum  se  convertisse,  eundem  x  anno  restitution  ath- 
letice  se  exercuisse  in  pugilatu  victoremque  Olympia 

83  reversum.     quin  et  caudae  huius  animalis  creditur 
vulgo  inesse  amatorium  virus  exiguo  in  villo  eumque 
cum    capiatur   abici  nee  idem  pollere  nisi  viventi 
direptum ;   dies  quibus  coeat  toto  anno  non  amplius 
duodecim ;  eundem  in  fame  vesci  terra  inter  auguria : 
ad  dexteram  commeantium  praeciso  itinere  si  pleno 

84  id  ore  fecerit,  nullum  omnium  ominum  4  praestantius. 
sunt  in  eo  genere  qui  cervarii  vocantur,  qualem  e 
Gallia  in  Pompei  Magni  harena  spectatum  diximus. 
huic    quamvis    in    fame    mandenti,   si    respexerit, 
oblivionem    cibi     subrepere     aiunt     digressumque 
quaerere  aliud. 

1  Edd, :  id.  2  Pellicerius  :  Pabius. 

3  Kalkmann  :  Acopsia  (Soopas  Jan}. 

4  Rctckham  :  jiullunx  Jjomiiiiuii  (n.  ominum.  ant  oimtiiuiix  aut 
omnino  edd.). 

0  The  lynx.  b  See  §  70. 


BOOK   VIII.  xxxiv.  81-84 

of  the  same  kind  for  nine  years ;  and  that  if  in  that 
period  he  has  refrained  from  touching  a  human 
being,  he  returns  to  the  same  marsh,  swims  across 
it  and  recovers  his  shape,  with  nine  years'  age  added 
to  his  former  appearance;  Evanthes  also  adds  the 
more  fabulous  detail  that  he  gets  back  the  same 
clothes !  It  is  astounding  to  what  lengths  Greek 
credulity  will  go ;  there  is  no  lie  so  shameless  as  to 
lack  a  supporter.  Similarly  Apollas  the  author  of 
Olympic  Victors  relates  that  at  the  sacrifice  which 
even  at  that  date  the  Arcadians  used  to  perform  in 
honour  of  Lycaean  Jove  with  a  human  victim, 
Daemenetus  of  Parrhasia  tasted  the  vitals  of  a  boy 
who  had  been  offered  as  a  victim  and  turned  himself 
into  a  wolf,  and  furthermore  that  he  was  restored  ten 
years  later  and  trained  himself  in  athletics  for  boxing 
and  returned  a  winner  from  Olympia.  Moreover  it 
is  popularly  believed  that  even  the  tail  of  this  animal 
contains  a  love-poison  in  a  small  tuft  of  hair,  and  when 
it  is  caught  it  sheds  the  tuft,  which  has  not  the  same 
potency  unless  plucked  from  the  animal  while  it  is 
alive;  that  the  days  on  which  it  breeds  are  not 
more  than  twelve  in  a  whole  year;  also  that  for  it 
to  feed  on  earth  when  it  is  hungry  counts  as  an 
augury :  if  it  does  this  in  large  mouthfuls  when 
barring  the  path  of  travellers  who  come  upon  it  on 
their  right  hand  side,  this  is  the  finest  of  all  omens. 
Some  members  of  the  genus  are  called  stag-wolves  a ; 
a  specimen  from  Gaul  was  seen  in  the  arena  of 
Pompey  the  Great,  as  we  have  stated.&  They 
say  that  if  this  animal  while  devouring  its  food 
looks  behind  it,  however  hungry  it  is,  forgetfulness 
of  what  it  is  eating  creeps  over  it  and  it  goes  off  to 
look  for  something  else. 

Si 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

85  XXXV.  Quod  ad  serpentis  attinct,  vulgaturn  est 
colorem  eius  plerasque  terrae  habere  in  qua  occul- 
tentur ;    innumera   esse  genera ;     cerastis    corpora 
eminere    cornicula    saepe    quadrigemina,    quorum 
motu  reliquo  corpore  occulto  sollicitent  ad  se  aves ; 
geminum  caput  amphisbaenae,  hoc  est  et  a  cauda, 
tamquam  parum  esset  uno  ore  fundi  venenum ;  aliis 
squamas  esse,  aliis  picturas,  omnibus  exitiale  virus ; 
iaculum  ex  arborum  ramis  vibrari,  nee  pedibus  tan- 
tum  pavendas  serpentes  sed  ut  missile  x  volare  tor- 
mento ;    colla  aspidum  intumescere  nullo  ictus  re- 
medio   praeterquam   si   confestim  partes  contactae 

86  amputentur.     unus    huic     tarn    pestifero    animali 
sensus  vel  potius  affectus  est :  coniugia  ferme  vagan- 
tur,  nee  nisi  cum  pari  vita  est.    itaque  alterutra  in- 
terempta   incredibilis   ultionis   alteri   cura:    perse- 
quitur  interfectorem  unumque  eum  in  quantolibet 
populi  agmine  notitia  quadam  infest  at,  perrumpit 
omnes  difficultates,  permeat  spatia  omnia,2  nee  nisi 
amnibus  arcetur  aut  praeceleri  fuga. 

87  Non  est  fateri  rerum  natura  largius  mala  an  reme- 
dia  genuerit.    iam  primum  hebetes  oculos  huic  malo 
dedit,  eosque  non  in  fronte  ut  ex  adverse  cerneret,3 
sed    in    temporibus, — itaque    excitatur    celerius 4 
auditu    quam    visu, — deinde    internecivum    bellum 

1  Mayhoff :  et  missili. 

2  omnia  add.  ?  Mayhoff. 

3  v.L  aut  adversa  cernere  et  alia. 

4  Mayhoff:  saepius. 


0  HytMcal;    but  the  name  is  now  used  of  an  American 
snake. 
b  The  name  is  now  given  to  the  mongoose. 

62 


BOOK  VIII.  xxxv.  85-87 

XXXV.  As  concerning  serpents,  it  is  generally  The  snake. 
stated  that  most  of  them  have  the  colour  of  the  earth 
that  they  usually  lurk  in ;  that  there  are  innumerable 
kinds  of  them ;  that  horned  snakes  have  little  horns, 
often  a  cluster  of  four,  projecting  from  the  body,  by 
moving  which  so  as  to  hide  the  rest  of  the  body  they 
lure  birds  to  them ;  that  the  amphisbaena  a  has  a  twin 
head,  that  is  one  at  the  tail-end  as  well,  as  though 
it  were  not  enough  for  poison  to  be  poured  out  of  one 
mouth;  that  some  have  scales,  others  coloured 
markings,  and  all  a  deadly  venom;  that  the  javelin- 
snake  hurls  itself  from  the  branches  of  trees,  and 
that  serpents  are  not  only  formidable  to  the  feet  but 
fly  like  a  missile  from  a  catapult ;  that  when  asps' 
necks  swell  up  there  is  no  remedy  for  their  sting 
except  the  immediate  amputation  of  the  parts 
stung.  Although  so  pestilential,  this  animal  has  one 
emotion  or  rather  affection:  they  usually  roam  in 
couples,  male  and  female,  and  only  live  with  their 
consort.  Accordingly  when  either  of  the  pair  has 
been  destroyed  the  other  is  incredibly  anxious  for 
revenge:  it  pursues  the  murderer  and  by  means 
of  some  mark  of  recognition  attacks  him  and  him 
only  in  however  large  a  throng  of  people,  bursting 
through  all  obstacles  and  traversing  all  distances,  and 
it  is  only  debarred  by  rivers  or  by  very  rapid  flight. 

It  is  impossible  to  declare  whether  Nature  has 
engendered  evils  or  remedies  more  bountifully.  In 
the  first  place  she  has  bestowed  on  this  accursed 
creature  dim  eyes,  and  those  not  in  the  forehead  for 
it  to  look  straight  in  front  of  it,  but  in  the  temples 
—  and  consequently  it  is  more  quickly  excited  by 
hearing  than  by  sight ;  and  in  the  next  place  she  has 
given  it  war  to  the  death  with  the  ichneumon6. 

63 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

88  cum  ichneumone.     XXXVI.  notum  est  animal  hac 
gloria  maxime  in  eadem  natum  Aegypto.     mergit  se 
limo  saepius  siccatque  sole,  mox  ubi  pluribus  eodem 
modo   se   coriis   loricavit,   in   dimicationem   pergit. 
in  ea  caudam  attollens  ictus  inritos  aversus  excipit, 
donee  obliquo  capite  speculatus  invadat  in  fauces, 
nee  hoc  contentus  aliud  baud  mitius  debellat  animal. 

89  XXXVII,  Crocodilum  habet  Nilus,  quadripes  ma- 
lum  et  terra  pariter  ac  flumine  infestum.     unum  hoc 
animal  terrestre  linguae  usu  caret,  unum  superiore 
mobili    maxilla    inprimit    morsum,    alias    terribile 
pectinatim  stipante  se  dentium  serie.   magnitudme 
excedit  plerumque  duodeviginti  cubita.     parit  ova 
quanta    anseres,  eaque    extra    eum  locum  semper 
incubat  praedivinatione   quadam  ad  quern  summo 
auctu   eo   anno   egressurus    est    Nilus.     nee   aliud 
animal  ex  minore  origine  in  maiorem  crescit  magnitu- 
dinem;    et   unguibus    autem   armatus    est,    contra 
omnes  ictus  cute  invicta.     dies  in  terra  agit,  noctes 

90  in  aqua,  teporis  utrumque  ratione.     hunc  saturum 
cibo    piscium    et   semper   esculento    ore    in   litore 
somno  datum  parva  avis,  quae  trochilos  ibi  vocatur, 
rex  avium  in  Italia,  invitat  ad  hiandum  pabuli  sui 
gratia,   os  primum  eius   adsultim  repurgans,  mox 
dentes   et  intus  fauces   quoque  ad  hanc  scabendi 

a  Probably  the  Huvianus  Aegyptius.    The  story  is  a  fable. 

64 


BOOK  VIIL  xxxvi,  87-xxxvn.  90 
XXXVI.    That  animal,  which  is  also  a  native  of  TJt*MlimMt 

T»  •  •   -i-i      -i  T  ft    i  icnn&wnon. 

Ji-gypt,  is  specially  known  because  of  this  exploit. 
The  asp  repeatedly  plunges  into  mud  and  dries  itself 
in  the  sun,  and  then  when  it  has  equipped  itself  with 
a  cuirass  of  several  coatings  by  the  same  method,  it 
proceeds  to  the  encounter.  In  this  it  raises  its  tail 
and  renders  the  blows  it  receives  ineffectual  by 
turning  away  from  them,  till  after  watching  for  its 
opportunity,  with  head  held  sideways  it  attacks  its 
adversary's  throat.  And  not  content  with  this 
victim  it  vanquishes  another  animal  no  less  ferocious, 
the  crocodile. 

XXXVII.  This  belongs  to  the  Nile ;  it  is  a  curse  The 
on  four  legs,  and  equally  pernicious  on  land  and  in  crocodlle' 
the  river.  It  is  the  only  land  animal  not  furnished 
with  a  tongue  and  the  only  one  that  bites  by  press- 
ing down  the  mobile  upper  jaw,  and  it  is  also 
formidable  because  of  its  row  of  teeth  set  close 
together  like  a  comb.  In  size  it  usually  exceeds 
18  ells.  It  lays  as  many  eggs  as  a  goose,  and  by  a 
kind  of  prophetic  instinct  incubates  them  always 
outside  the  line  to  which  the  Nile  in  that  year  is 
going  to  rise  at  full  flood.  Nor  does  any  other  animal 
grow  to  greater  dimensions  from  a  smaller  original 
size;  however,  it  is  armed  with  talons  as  well, 
and  its  hide  is  invincible  against  all  blows.  It  passes 
its  days  on  land  and  its  nights  in  the  water,  in  both 
cases  for  reasons  of  warmth.  This  creature  when 
sated  with  a  meal  of  fish  and  sunk  in  sleep  on  the 
shore  with  its  mouth  always  full  of  food,  is  tempted 
by  a  small  bird  (called  there  the  trochilus,a  but  in 
Italy  the  king-bird)  to  open  its  mouth  wide  to  enable 
the  bird  to  feed ;  and  first  it  hops  in  and  cleans  out 
the  mouth,  and  then  the  teeth  and  inner  throat  also, 

6s 

VOL.  III.  F 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

dulcedinem  quam  maxime  hiantes,  in  qua  voluptate 
somno  pressum  conspicatus  ichneumon  per  easdem 
fauces  ut  telum  aliquod  inmissus  erodit  alvom. 

91  XXXVIIL    Similis    crocodile,   sed    minor    etiam 
ichneumone,  est  in  Nilo  natus  scincos,  contra  venena 
praecipuus  antidotis,  item  ad  inflammandam  virorum 
venerem. 

Verum  in  crocodilo  maior  erat  pestis  quam  ut  uno 
esset  eius  hoste  natura  contenta.  itaque  et  delphini 
inmeantes  Nilo,  quorum  dorso  tamquam  ad  hunc 
usum  cultellata  inest  pinna,  abjgentes  eos  praeda  ac 
velut  in  suo  tantum  amne  regnantes,  alioquin  inpares 
viribus  ipsi  astu  interimunt.  callent  enim  in  hoc  cuncta 
animaliaj  sciuntque  non  sua  modo  commoda  verum  et 
hostium  adversa,  norunt  sua  tela,  norunt  occasiones 
partesque  dissidentium  inbellis.  in  ventre  mollis 
est  tenuisque  cutis  crocodilo;  ideo  se  ut  territi 
mergunt  delphini  subeuntesque  alvum  ilia  secant 

92  spina.     quin    et    gens    hominum    est    huic    beluae 
adversa  in  ipso  Nilo  a  Tentyri  insula  in  qua  habi- 
tat appellata.    mensura  eorum  parva,  sed  praesentia 
animi  in  hoc  tantum  usu  mira.     terribilis  haec  contra 

93  fugaces   belua   est,  fugax  contra  sequentes.1    sed 
adversum  ire  soli  hi  audent,  qui  et  flumini  innatant, 

1  Dalecampius  :  serpentes  (resistentes  Solinus}. 

a  The  name  is  now  given  to  a  very  small  South  European 
lizard;  but  Pliny  probably  refers  to  some  large  species  of 
lizard, 

b  8c.  Tentyritae.  c  Now  Denderah. 

66 


BOOK  VIII.  xxxvu.  90-xxxvra.  93 

which  yawns  open  as  wide  as  possible  for  the  pleasure 
of  this  scratching ;  and  the  ichneumon  watches  for 
it  to  be  overcome  by  sleep  in  the  middle  of  this 
gratification  and  darts  like  a  javelin  through  the 
throat  so  opened  and  gnaws  out  the  belly. 

XXXVIII.  A  native  of  the  Nile  resembling  the 
crocodile  but  smaller  even  than  the  ichneumon  is  the 
skink,fl  which  is  an  outstanding  antidote  against 
poisons,  and  also  an  aphrodisiac  for  males. 

But  the  crocodile  constituted  too  great  a  plague  Enemies  of 
for  Nature  to  be  content  with  a  single  enemy  for  it.  nl'ddphin'' 
Accordingly  dolphins  also,  which  have  on  their  backs  a£^heus 
a  sharp  fin  shaped  like  a  knife  as  if  for  this  purpose,  islanders. 
enter  the  mouth  of  the  Nile,  and  when  the  crocodiles 
drive  them  away  from  their  prey  and  lord  it  in  the 
river  as  merely  their  own  domain,  kill  them  by  craft, 
as  they  are  otherwise  in  themselves  no  match  for 
them  in  strength.  For  all  animals  are  skilful  in  this, 
and  know  not  only  the  things  advantageous  for  them- 
selves but  also  those  detrimental  for  their  enemies, 
and  are  acquainted  with  their  own  weapons  and 
recognize  their  opportunities  and  the  unwarlike  parts 
of  their  adversaries.  The  crocodile's  hide  is  soft  and 
thin  over  the  belly ;  consequently  the  dolphins  pre- 
tending to  be  frightened  dive  and  going  under  them 
rip  the  belly  with  the  spine  described.  Moreover 
there  is  also  a  tribe  of  human  beings  right  on  the  Nile, 
named &  after  the  Island  of  Tentyrusc  on  which  it 
dwells,  that  is  hostile  to  this  monster.  They  are  of 
small  stature  but  have  a  readiness  of  mind  in  this 
employment  only  that  is  remarkable.  The  creature 
in  question  is  terrible  against  those  who  run  away  but 
runs  away  from  those  who  pursue  it.  But  these  men 
alone  dare  to  go  against  them;  they  actually  dive 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

dorsoque  equitantium  modo  inpositi  hiantibus  resu- 
pino  capite  ad  morsum  addita  in  os  clava,  dextra 
ac  laeva  tenentes  extrema  eius  utrimque,  ut  frenis 
in  terram  agunt  captives,  ac  voce  etiam  sola  territos 
cogunt  evomere  recentia  corpora  ad  sepulturam* 
itaque  uni  ei  insulae  crocodili  non  adnatant,  olfactu- 
que  eius  generis  hominum,  ut  Psyllorum  serpent  es, 

94  fugantur.    hebetes  oculos  hoc  animal  dicitur  habere 
in  aqua,  extra  acerrimi  visus,  quattuorque  menses 
hiemis  semper  inedia  transmittere  in  specu.     quidam 
hoc  unum  quamdiu  vivat  crescere  arbitrantur ;  vivit 
autem  longo  tempore. 

95  XXXIX.  Maior  altitudine  in  eodem  Nilo  belua 
hippopotamus   editur,  ungulis  binis   quales  bubus, 
dorso  equi  et  iuba  et  hinnitu,  rostro  resimo,  cauda  et 
dentibus  aprorum  aduncis  sed  minus  noxiis,  tergoris 
ad  scuta  galeasque  inpenetrabilis,  praeterquam  si 
umore   madeant.     depascitur   segetes    destinatione 
ante,  ut  ferunt,  determinatas  in  diem  et  ex  agro 
ferentibus    vestigiis,    ne    quae    revert enti    insidiae 
comparentur. 

96  XL.  Primus   eum  et   quinque  crocodiles  Romae 
aedilitatis  suae  ludis  M.  Scaurus  temporario  euripo 
ostendit.    hippopotamus  in  quadam  medendi  parte 
etiam  magister  existit;    adsidua  namque  satietate 


<*  See  VII  §  14. 

*  Apparently  by  entering  the  field  walking  backward. 

e  58  B.C. 


68 


BOOK  VIII.  xxxvin.  93-xL.  96 

into  the  river  and  mounting  on  their  back  as  if  riding 
a  horse,  when  they  yawn  with  the  head  thrown  back- 
ward to  bite,  insert  a  staff  into  the  mouth,  and  holding 
the  staff  at  both  ends  with  their  right  and  left  hands, 
drive  their  prisoners  to  the  land  as  if  with  bridles, 
and  by  terrifying  them  even  merely  with  their  shouts 
compel  them  to  disgorge  the  recently  swallowed  bodies 
for  burial.  Consequently  this  island  only  is  not  visited 
by  crocodiles,  and  the  scent  of  this  race  of  men 
drives  them  away,  as  that  of  the  Psylli a  does  snakes. 
This  animal  is  said  to  have  dim  sight  in  the  water, 
but  to  be  very  keen-sighted  when  out  of  it ;  and  to 
pass  four  months  of  the  winter  in  a  cave  continuously 
without  food.  Some  persons  think  that  this  alone 
of  animals  goes  on  growing  in  size  as  long  as  it  lives ; 
but  it  lives  a  long  time. 

XXXIX.  A  monster  of  still  greater  height  is  also  The  hippo- 
produced  in  the  Nile,  the  hippopotamus,  which  has  P°tamus: 
cloven  hoofs  like  those  of  oxen,  a  horse's  back,  mane 
and  neigh,  a  snub  snout,  a  boar's  tail  and  curved 
tusks,  though  these  are  less  formidable,  and  with  a 
hide  that  supplies  an  impenetrable  material  for 
shields  and  helmets,  except  if  they  are  soaked  in 
moisture.  It  feeds  on  the  crops,  marking  out  a 
definite  portion  beforehand  for  each  day,  so  it  is  said, 
and  making  its  footprints  lead  out  of  the  field/  so 
that  no  traps  may  be  laid  for  it  when  it  returns. 

XL.  A  hippopotamus  was  exhibited  at  Borne  for 
the  first  time,  together  with  five  crocodiles,  by 
Marcus  Scaurus  at  the  games  which  he  gave  when 
aedile c ;   a  temporary  channel  was  made  to  hold 
them.    The  hippopotamus  stands  out  as  an  actual  its  mod- 
master  in  one  department  of  medicine ;  for  when  its  letttn9' 
unceasing  voracity  has  caused  it  to  overeat  itself  it 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

obesus  exit  in  litus  recentis  harundinum  caesuras 
speculatum  atque  ubi  acutissimam  vidit  stirpem 
inprimens  corpus  venam  quandam  in  crure  vulnerat 
atque  it  a  profluvio  sanguinis  morbidum  alias  corpus 
exonerat  et  plagam  limo  rursus  obducit. 

97  XLI.  Simile  quiddam  et  volucris  in  eadem  Aegypto 
monstravit  quae  vocatur  ibis,  rostri  aduncitate  per 
earn  partem  se  perluens  qua  reddi  ciborum  onera 
maxime    salubre    est.    nee  haec  sola :    a 1  multis 
animalibus    reperta    sunt    usui    futura    et    homini. 
dictamnum  herbam  extrahendis  sagittis  cervi  mon- 
stravere  percussi  eo  telo  pastuque  herbae  eius  eiecto ; 
iidem  percussi  a  phalangio,  quod  est  aranei  genus, 
aut   aliquo   simili   cancros   edendo   sibi   medentur. 
est  et  ad  serpentium  ictus  praecipua  herba,2  qua  se 
lacerti  quotiens  cum  his  conseruere  pugnam  vulnerati 

98  refovent.     chelidoniamvisuisaluberrimamhirundines 
monstravere  vexatis  pullorum  oculis  ilia  medentes. 
testudo  cunilae  quam  bubulam  vocant  pastu  vires 
contra  serpentes  refovet,  mustella  ruta  in  murium 
venatu  cum  iis  dimicatione  conserta.     ciconia  ori- 
gano,  hedera  apri  in  morbis  sibi  medentur  et  cancros 

99  vescendo  maxime  mari  eiectos.     anguis,  hiberno  situ 
membrana  corpori 3   obducta  feniculi  suco   inpedi- 

1  a  om.  v.L  2  herba  add.  ?  Mayhoff. 

3  Rackham  :  corporis. 

0  Perhaps  pennyroyal. 

70 


BOOK  VIII.  XL.  96-XLi.  99 

comes  ashore  to  reconnoitre  places  where  rushes 
have  recently  been  cut,  and  where  it  sees  an  extremely 
sharp  stalk  it  squeezes  its  body  down  on  to  it  and 
makes  a  wound  in  a  certain  vein  in  its  leg,  and  by  thus 
letting  blood  unburdens  its  body,  which  would 
otherwise  be  liable  to  disease,  and  plasters  up  the 
wound  again  with  mud. 

XLI.  A  somewhat  similar  display  has  also  been  other  species 
made  in  the  same  country  of  Egypt  by  the  bird  called  ^f™^ 
the  ibis,  which  makes  use  of  the  curve  of  its  beak  to 
purge  itself  through  the  part  by  which  it  is  most 
conducive  to  health  for  the  heavy  residue  of  foodstuffs 
to  be  excreted.  Nor  is  the  ibis  alone,  but  many 
animals  have  made  discoveries  destined  to  be  useful 
for  man  as  well.  The  value  of  the  herb  dittany  for 
extracting  arrows  was  shown  by  stags  when  wounded 
by  that  weapon  and  ejecting  it  by  grazing  on  that 
herb ;  likewise  stags  when  bitten  by  the  phalangium, 
a  kind  of  spider,  or  any  similar  animal  cure  themselves 
by  eating  crabs.  There  is  also  a  herb  that  is  par- 
ticularly good  for  snake-bites,  with  which  lizards 
heal  themselves  whenever  they  fight  a  battle  with 
snakes  and  are  wounded.  Celandine  was  shown 
to  be  very  healthy  for  the  sight  by  swallows  using  it 
as  a  medicine  for  their  chicks'  sore  eyes.  The 
tortoise  eats  cunila a,  called  ox-grass,  to  restore  its 
strength  against  the  effect  of  snake-bites ;  the  weasel 
cures  itself  with  rue  when  it  has  had  a  fight  with 
mice  in  hunting  them.  The  stork  drugs  itself  with 
marjoram  in  sickness,  and  goats  use  ivy  and  a 
diet  consisting  mostly  of  crabs  thrown  up  from  the 
sea.  When  a  snake's  body  gets  covered  with  a  skin 
owing  to  its  winter  inactivity  it  sloughs  this  hindrance 
to  its  movement  by  means  of  fennel-sap  and  comes 

71 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

mentum  illud  exuit  rtitidusque  vernat ;  exuit  autem 
a  capite  primum,  nee  celerius  quam  uno  die  et  nocte, 
replicans  ut  extra  fiat  membranae  quod  fuerit  intus. 
idem  hiberna  latebra  visu  obscurato  marathro 
herbae  se  adfricans  oculos  inunguit  ac  refovet,  si 
vero  squamae  obtorpuere  spinis  iuniperi  se  scabit. 
"  draco  vernam  nausiam  silvestris  lactucae  suco  res- 

100  tinguit.     pantheras  perfricata  carne 1  aconito  [vene- 
num  id  est] 2  barbari  venantur ;  occupat  ilico  fauces 
earum    angor    (quare    pardalianches    id    venenum 
appellavere  quidam),  at  fera  contra  hoc  excrementis 
hominis  sibi  medetur,  et  alias  tarn  avida  eorum  ut  a 
pastoribus  ex  industria  in  aliquo  vase  suspensa  altius 
quam  ut   queat  saltu   attingere  iaculando   se   ap- 
petendoque  3  deficiat  et  postremo  expiret,  alioqui 
vivacitatis  adeo  lentae  ut  eiectis  interaneis  diu  pu- 

101  gnet.     elephans    chamaeleone    concolori 4    frondi 5 
devorato   occurrit   oleastro  huic  veneno   suo.     ursi 
cum  mandragorae  malum  gustavere  formicas  lamb- 
unt.     cervus     herba     cinare     venenatis      pabulis 
resistit.    palumbes,  graculi,  merulae,  perdices  lauri 
folio  annuum  fastidium  purgant,  columbae,  turtures 
et  gallinacei  herba  quae  vocatur  helxine,  anates, 
anseres  ceteraeque  aquaticae  herba  siderite,  grues 
et  similes  iunco  palustri.    corvus   occiso   chamae- 

1  v.l.  per  fricatas  carnes. 

2  om.  Urlichs. 

3  v.l.  iaculando  ea  petendoque :    iaculando   se   appetens 
I'd  appetat  ideoque  ?  Mayhoff. 

*  cum  concolori  ?  Mayhoff. 
5  edd. :  fronde. 


0  The  wall-pellitory. 
72 


BOOK  VIII.  XLI.  99-101 

out  all  glossy  for  spring ;  but  it  begins  the  process  at 
its  head,  and  takes  at  least  24:  hours  to  do  it,  folding 
the  skin  backward  so  that  what  was  the  inner  side 
of  it  becomes  the  outside.  Moreover  as  its  sight  is 
obscured  by  its  hibernation  it  anoints  and  revives  its 
eyes  by  rubbing  itself  against  a  fennel  plant,  but  if 
its  scales  have  become  numbed  it  scratches  itself  on 
the  spiny  le  aves  of  a  j  unip  er .  A  large  snake  quenches 
its  spring  nausea  with  the  juice  of  wild  lettuce. 
Barbarian  hunters  catch  leopards  by  means  of  meat 
rubbed  over  with  wolf's-bane;  their  throats  are  at 
once  attacked  by  violent  pain  (in  consequence  of 
which  some  people  have  given  this  poison  a  Greek 
name  meaning  choke-leopard),  but  to  cure  this  the 
creature  doses  itself  with  human  excrement,  and  in 
general  it  is  so  greedy  for  this  that  shepherds  have 
a  plan  of  hanging  up  some  of  it  in  a  vessel  too  high 
for  the  leopard  to  be  able  to  reach  it  by  jumping  up, 
and  the  animal  keeps  springing  up  and  trying  to  get 
it  till  it  is  exhausted  and  finally  dies,  although  other- 
wise its  vitality  is  so  persistent  that  it  will  go  on 
fighting  for  a  long  time  after  its  entrails  have  been 
torn  out.  When  an  elephant  swallows  a  chameleon 
(which  is  poisonous  to  it)  because  it  is  of  the  same 
colour  as  a  leaf,  it  uses  the  wild  olive  as  a  remedy. 
When  bears  have  swallowed  the  fruit  of  the  mandrake 
they  lick  up  ants.  A  stag  uses  wild  artichoke  as  an 
antidote  to  poisoned  fodder.  Pigeons,  jays,  black- 
birds and  partridges  cure  their  yearly  distaste 
for  food  with  bay-leaves;  doves,  turtle-doves  and 
domestic  fowls  use  the  plant  called  helxinea,  ducks, 
geese  and  other  water-fowl  water-starwort,  cranes 
and  the  like  marsh-rushes.  When  a  raven  has 
killed  a  chameleon  lizard,  which  is  noxious  even  to 

73 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

leone,  qui  etiam  victor-suo  nocet,  lauro  infectum  virus 
extinguit. 

102  XLII.  Milia  *  praeterea,  utpote  cum  plurimis  ani- 
malibus  eadem  natura  rerum  caeli  quoque  observa- 
tionem  et  ventorum,  imbrium,  tempestatum  praesa- 
gia  alia  alio  modo  dederit,  quod  persequi  inmensum 
est,   aeque    scilicet   quam   reliquam   cum    singulis 
hominum  societatem.    siquidem  et  pericula  prae- 
monent  non  fibris  modo  extisque,  circa  quod  magna 
mortalium  portio  haeret,  sed  et  2  alia  quadam  signi- 

103  ficatione.     ruinis  inminentibus  musculi  praemigrant, 
aranei   cum  telis   primi   cadunt.    auguria   quidem 
artem  fecere  apud  Romanos  et  sacerdotum  collegium 
vel  maxime  sollemne.     est  inter  ea 3  locis  rigentibus 
et  volpes,  animal  alioqui  sollertia  dirum  4 ;    amnes 
gelatos  lacusque  nonnisi  ad  eius  itum  reditumque 
transeunt :  observatum  earn  aure  ad  glaciem  adposita 

104  coniectare  crassitudinem  gelus.     XLIII.  Nee  minus 
clara  exitii  documenta  sunt  etiam  in  5  contemnendis 
animalibus.     M.  Varro  auctor  est   a  cuniculis   suf- 
fossum  in  Hispania  oppidum,  a  talpis  in  Thessalia, 
ab  ranis  civitatem  in  Gallia  pulsam,  ab  locustis  in 
Africa,  ex  Gyara  Cycladum  insula  incolas  a  muribus 
fugatos,  in  Italia  Amynclas  a  serpentibus  deletas. 

1  Multa  ?  (cf.  §  106)  Mayfioff.  *  et  add.  ?  Mayhoff. 

3  est  in  Thracia  edd.  4  v,l.  sollerti  auditu, 

74 


BOOK  VIIL  XLI.  IOI-XLIII.  104 

its  conqueror,   it   stanches  the  poisonous  infection 
with  bay-leaves. 

XLII.  There  are  thousands  of  points  besides, 
inasmuch  as  Nature  has  likewise  also  bestowed  upon  SC 
very  many  animals  the  faculty  of  observing  the  sky,  dan^er' 
and  a  variety  of  different  modes  of  prognosticating 
winds,  rain  and  storms,  a  subject  which  it  would  be 
an  immense  task  to  pursue,  just  as  much  so  no  doubt 
as  the.  other  points  of  alliance  between  particular 
animals  and  human  beings.  For  in  fact  animals  even 
give  warning  of  dangers  in  advance,  not  only  by 
means  of  their  entrails  and  internal  organs,  a  thing 
that  much  intrigues  a  great  part  of  mankind,  but  also 
by  another  mode  of  indication.  When  the  collapse 
of  a  building  is  imminent,  the  mice  migrate  in  ad- 
vance, and  spiders  with  their  webs  are  the  first  things 
to  fall.  Indeed  auguries  have  constituted  a  science 
at  Rome  and  have  given  rise  to  a  priestly  college  of 
the  greatest  dignity.  In  frostbound  countries  the 
fox  also  is  among  the  creatures  believed  to  give 
omens,  being  an  animal  of  formidable  sagacity  in 
other  respects  ;  people  only  cross  frozen  rivers  and 
lakes  at  points  where  it  goes  or  returns  :  it  has  been 
observed  to  put  its  ear  to  the  frozen  surface  and  to 
guess  the  thickness  of  the  ice.  XLIII.  Nor  are  destructive 
there  less  remarkable  instances  of  destructiveness  species- 
even  in  the  case  of  contemptible  animals.  Marcus 
Varro  states  that  a  town  in  Spain  was  undermined 
by  rabbits  and  one  in  Thessaly  by  moles,  and  that 
a  tribe  in  Gaul  was  put  to  flight  by  frogs  and  one  in 
Africa  by  locusts,  and  the  inhabitants  were  banished 
from  the  island  of  Gyara  in  the  Cyclades  by  mice, 
and  Amynclae  in  Italy  was  completely  destroyed 


75 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

citra  Cynamolgos  Aethiopas  late  deserta  regio  est  a 
scorpionibus  et  solipugis  gente  sublata,  et  a  scolo- 
pendris  abactos  Rhoetienses  auctor  est  Theophrastus. 
Sed  ad  reliqua  ferarum  genera  redeamus. 

105  XLIV.  Hyaenis  utramque  esse  naturam  et  alternis 
annis  maris  alternis  feminas  fieri,  parere  sine  mare 
vulgus  credit,  Aristoteles  negat.    collum  ut1  iuba 
in  continuitatem  2  spinae  porrigitur  flectique  nisi  cir- 

106  cumactu  totius  corporis  nequit.   multa  praeterea  mira 
traduntur,  sed  maxime  sermonem  humanum  inter 
pastorum  stabula  adsimulare  nomenque  alicuius  addis- 
cere  quern  evocatum  foris  laceret,  item  vomitionem 
hominis  irmtari  ad  sollicitandos  canes  quos  invadat ; 
ab  uno  animali  sepulchra  erui  inquisitione  corporum ; 
feminam  raro   capi;    oculis   mille   esse   varietates 
colorumque  mutationes;    praeterea    umbrae    eius 
contactu  canes  obmutescere ;  et  quibusdam  magicis 
artibus  omne  animal  quod  ter  lustraverit  in  vestigio 

107  haerere.    XLV.  Huius  generis  coitu  leaena  Aethio- 
pica  parit  corocottam,   similiter  voces   imitantem 
hominum  pecorumque ;  acies  ei  perpetua  in  utraque 
parte  oris  nullis  gingivis,  dente  continue,  ne  contrario 
occursu  hebetetur  capsarum  modo  includitur.    ho- 

1  Mayhoff:  et. 

2  MayTwff :  iuba  et  imitate. 

0  An  unknown  animal. 


BOOK  VIII.  XLIII.  I04-XLV.  107 

by  snakes.  North  of  the  Ethiopic  tribe  of  the 
Bitch-milkers  there  is  a  wide  belt  of  desert  where 
a  tribe  was  wiped  out  by  scorpions  and  poisonous 
spiders,  and  Theophrastus  states  that  the  Rhoetienses 
were  driven  away  by  a  kind  of  centipede. 

But  let  us  return  to  the  remaining  kinds  of  wild 
animals. 

XLIV.  The  hyena  is  popularly  believed  to  be 
bi-sexual  and  to  become  male  and  female  in  alternate 
years,  the  female  bearing  offspring  without  a  male ; 
but  this  is  denied  by  Aristotle.  Its  neck  stretches 
right  along  the  backbone  like  a  mane,  and  cannot 
bend  without  the  whole  body  turning  round.  A 
number  of  other  remarkable  facts  about  it  are 
reported,  but  the  most  remarkable  are  that  among 
the  shepherds'  homesteads  it  simulates  human 
speech,  and  picks  up  the  name  of  one  of  them 
so  as  to  call  him  to  come  out  of  doors  and  tear  him 
in  pieces,  and  also  that  it  imitates  a  person  being 
sick,  to  attract  the  dogs  so  that  it  may  attack  them ; 
that  this  animal  alone  digs  up  graves  in  search  of 
corpses;  that  a  female  is  seldom  caught;  that  its 
eyes  have  a  thousand  variations  and  alterations  of 
colour;  moreover  that  when  its  shadow  falls  on 
dogs  they  are  struck  dumb ;  and  that  it  has  certain 
magic  arts  by  which  it  causes  every  animal  at  which 
it  gazes  three  times  to  stand  rooted  to  the  spot. 
XLV.  When  crossed  with  this  race  of  animals  the  Hyena 
Ethiopian  lioness  gives  birth  to  the  corocotta,a  that hybrid*- 
mimics  the  voices  of  men  and  cattle  in  a  similar  way. 
It  has  an  unbroken  ridge  of  bone  in  each  jaw,  forming 
a  continuous  tooth  without  any  gum,  which  to 
prevent  its  being  blunted  by  contact  with  the 
opposite  jaw  is  shut  up  in  a  sort  of  case.  Juba  states 

77 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

minum  sermones  imitari  et  mantichoran  in  Aethiopia 
auctor  est  luba. 

108  XLVI.  Hyaenae  plurimae  gignuntur   in   Africa, 
quae  et  asinorum  silvestrium  multitudinem  fundit. 
mares   in    eo   genere   singuli   feminarum   gregibus 
imperitant.    timent  libidinis  aemulos  et  ideo  gravidas 
custodiunt  morsuque  natos  mares  castrant;   contra 
gravidae  latebras  petunt  et  parere  furto  cupiunt. 
gaudentque  copia  libidinis* 

109  XLVII.  Easdem  partes  sibi  ipsi  Pontici  amputant 
fibri    periculo    urguente,    ob    hoc    se    peti    gnari: 
castoreum  id  vocant  medici.    alias  animal  horrendi 
morsus  arbores  iuxta  flumina  ut  ferro  caedit  ;    ho- 
minis   parte   conprehensa   non   ante    quam   fracta 
concrepuerint  ossa  morsus  resolvit.    cauda  piscium 
his,  cetera  species  lutrae:    utrumque   aquaticum, 
utrique  mollior  pluma  pilus. 

110  XLVIII.  Ranae  quoque  rubetae,  quarum  et  in 
terra  et  in  umore  vita,  plurimis  refertae  medica- 
minibus  deponere  ea  cotidie  1  ac  resumere  pastu 
dicuntur,  venena  tantum  semper  sibi  reservantes. 

111  XLIX.  Similis  et  vitulo  marino  victus  in  mari  ac 
terra,  simile  fibris  et  ingenium.     evomit  fel  suum  ad 
maulta  medicamenta  utile,  item  coagulum  ad  comi- 

1  v.L  assidue. 


B  See  §  75. 

b  The  Latin  name  has  been  transferred  to  a  vegetable  oil. 

»,  I.e.  the  toad. 


78 


BOOK  VIII.  XLV.  107-xnx.  in 

that  in  Ethiopia  the  mantichora  a  also  mimics  human 
speech. 

XLVI.  Hyenas  occur  most  numerously  in  Africa, 
which  also  produces  a  multitude  of  wild  asses.  In 
that  species  each  male  is  lord  of  a  separate  herd  of 
females.  They  are  afraid  of  rivals  in  their  affections, 
and  consequently  they  keep  a  watch  on  their  females 
when  in  foal,  and  geld  their  male  offspring  with  a 
bite ;  to  guard  against  this  the  females  when  in  foal 
seek  hiding-places  and  are  anxious  to  give  birth  by 
stealth.  Also  they  are  fond  of  a  great  deal  of  sexual 
indulgence. 

XLVII.  The  beavers  of  the  Black  Sea  region  prac- 
tise  self-amputation  of  the  same  organ  when  beset  by 
danger,  as  they  know  that  they  are  hunted  for  the 
sake  of  its  secretion,  the  medical  name  for  which  is 
beaver-oil.6  Apart  from  this  the  beaver  is  an  animal 
with  a  formidable  bite,  cutting  down  trees  on  the 
river  banks  as  if  with  steel ;  if  it  gets  hold  of  part  of 
a  man's  body  it  does  not  relax  its  bite  before  the 
fractured  bones  are  heard  grinding  together.  The 
beaver  has  a  fish's  tail,  while  the  rest  of  its  con- 
formation resembles  an  otter's;  both  species  are 
aquatic,  and  both  have  fur  that  is  softer  than 
down. 

XLVIII.  Also  the  bramble-frog,0  which  is  amphi- 
bious  in  its  habit,  is  replete  with  a  great  number  of  rog' 
drugs,  which  it  is  said  to  evacuate  daily  and  to  re- 
place by  the  food  that  it  eats,  always  keeping  back 
only  the  poisons  for  itself. 

XLIX.  The  seal  also  resembles  the  beaver  both  ***»*#• 
in  its  amphibious  habits  and  in  its  nature.    It  gets 
rid  of  its  gall,  which  is  useful  for  many  drugs,  by 
vomiting  it  up,  and  also  its  rennet,  a  cure  for  epileptic 

79 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

tiales  morbos,  ob  ea  se  peti  prudens.  Theophrastus 
auctor  est  anguis  x  modo  et  stelliones  senectutem 
exuere  itaque  protinus  devorare  praeripientis  comi- 
tiali  morbo  remedium.2  eosdem  innocui  ferunt  3  in 
Graecia  morsus,  noxios  4  esse  in  Sicilia. 

112  L.  Cervis  quoque  est  sua  malignitas,  quamquam 
placidissimo  animalium.    urguente  vi  canum  ultro 
confugiunt   ad  hominem,   et  in  pariendo   semitas 
minus  cavent  humanis  vestigiis  tritas  quam  seer  eta 
ac  feris  opportuna.    conceptus  earum  post  arcturi 
sidus.     octonis  mensibus  ferunt  partus,  interim  et 
geminos.     a  conceptu  separant  se,  at  mares  relicti 
rabie  libidinis  saeviunt,  fodiunt  scrobes ;  tune  rostra 
eorum    nigrescunt    donee    aliqui    abluant    imbres. 
feminae    autem    ante    partum    purgantur    herba 
quadam  quae  seselis  dicitur,  faciliore  ita  utentes 
utero.     a  partu  duas  herbas  quae  tamnus  et  seselis 
appellantur  pastae  redeunt  ad  fetum:    illis  imbui 
lactis  primos   volunt   sucos   quacumque   de   causa. 

113  editos   partus    exercent  cursu   et   fugam  meditari 
docent,  ad  praerupta  ducunt  saltumque  demonstrant. 
iam  mares   soluti  desiderio  libidinis  avide  petunt 
pabula;  ubi  se  praepingues  sensere,  latebras  quae- 
runt  fatentes  incommodum  pondus.     et  alias  semper 
in  fuga  adquiescunt  stantesque  respiciunt,  cum  prope 


1  Gelen  (cf.  xxx.  89) :  angues. 

2  Rackham  :  remedii  aut  remedia. 

3  Mayhoff :  ponti  ferunt  aut  mortiferi. 

4  Mayhoff :  Graecia  mortuos. 


0  As  well  as  the  animals  in  §  111  :   they  grudge  mankind 
their  horns,  §  115. 

80 


BOOK  VIII.  XLIX.  m-L.  113 

attacks;  it  does  this  because  it  knows  that  it  is 
hunted  for  the  sake  of  these  products.  Theo- 
phrastus  states  that  geckoes  also  slough  off  their  old 
skin  as  a  snake  does,  and  similarly  swallow  the  slough 
at  once,  it  being  a  cure  for  epilepsy  if  one  snatches  it 
from  them.  It  is  also  said  that  their  bite  is  harmless 
in  Greece  but  that  they  are  noxious  in  Sicily. 

L.  Deer  also  a  have  their  own  form  of  stinginess, 
although  the  stag  is  the  gentlest  of  animals.  When 
beset  by  a  pack  of  hounds  they  fly  for  refuge  of  their 
own  accord  to  a  human  being,  and  when  giving  birth 
to  young  are  less  careful  to  avoid  paths  worn  by 
human  footprints  than  secluded  places  that  are 
advantageous  for  wild  beasts.  The  mating  season 
is  after  the  rising  of  Arcturus.  Pregnancy  lasts 
eight  months,  and  occasionally  they  bear  twins. 
After  mating  the  hinds  withdraw,  but  the  deserted 
males  rage  in  a  fury  of  desire,  and  score  the  ground 
with  their  horns ;  afterwards  their  snouts  are  black 
till  a  considerable  rainfall  washes  off  the  dirt.  The 
females  before  giving  birth  use  a  certain  plant  called 
hartwort  as  a  purge,  so  having  an  easier  delivery. 
After  giving  birth  they  browse  on  the  two  plants 
named  dittany  and  seseli  before  they  return  to 
the  young:  for  some  reason  or  other  they  desire 
the  sucklings'  first  draughts  of  milk  to  be  flavoured 
with  those  herbs.  When  the  fawns  are  born  they 
exercise  them  in  running  and  teach  them  to  practise 
escaping,  and  take  them  to  cliffs  and  show  them  how 
to  jump.  The  males  when  at  last  freed  from  lustful 
desire  greedily  seek  pasture;  when  they  feel  they 
are  too  fat,  they  look  for  lairs  to  hide  in,  showing 
that  they  are  conscious  of  inconvenient  weight.  And 
on  other  occasions  when  running  away  from  pursuit 
they  always  stop  and  stand  gazing  backward,  when 

8r 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

ventum  est  rursus  fugae  praesidia  repetentes:   hoc 
fit  intestini  dolore  tarn  infirmi  ut  ictu  levi  rumpatur 

114  intus.    fugiunt  autem  latratu  canum  audito  secunda 
semper  aura,  ut  vestigia  cum  ipsis  abeant.    mul- 
centur  fistula  pastoral!  et  cantu.    cum  erexere  aures, 
acerrimi  sunt  auditus,  cum  remisere,  surdi.     cetero 
animal  simplex  et  omnium  rerum  miraculo  stupens 
in  tantum  ut  equo  aut  bucula  accedente  propius 
hominem  iuxta  venantem  non  cernant  aut,  si  cernant, 
arcum  ipsum  sagittasque  mirentur.    maria  trameant 
gregatim  nantes  porrecto  ordine  et  capita  inponentes 
praecedentium   clunibus   vicibusque   ad   terga   re- 
deuntes:    hoc  maxime  notatur  a  Cilicia  Cyprum 
traicientibus ;    nee  vident  terras,  sed  in  odorem1 

115  earum    natant.     cornua    mares    habent,     solique 
animalium  omnibus  annis  stato  veris  tempore  amit- 
tunt ;  ideo  sub  ista  die  quam  maxime  invia  petunt. 
latent  amissis  velut  inermes,  sed  et  hi  bono  suo 
invidentes :     dextrum   cornu   negant   inveniri    ceu 
medicamento  aliquo  praeditum;    idque  mirabilius 
fatendum  est  cum  et  in  vivariis  mutent   omnibus 
annis;   defodi  ab  iis  putant.    accensi  autem  utrius 
libeat    odore    comitiales    morbi    deprehenduntur. 

116  indicia  quoque  aetatis  in  illis  gerunt,  singulos  annis 
adicientibus    ramos    usque    ad    sexennes;     ab    eo 

1  Gelen:  odore. 
82 


BOOK  VIII.  L.  113-116 

the  hunters  draw  near  again  seeking  refuge  in 
flight :  this  is  done  owing  to  pain  in  the  gut,  which 
is  so  weak  that  a  light  blow  causes  internal  rupture. 
But  when  they  hear  the  baying  of  hounds  they  always 
run  away  down  wind,  so  that  their  scent  may  go  away 
with  them.  They  can  be  charmed  by  a  shepherd's 
pipe  and  by  song.  Their  hearing  is  very  keen  when 
they  raise  their  ears,  but  dull  when  they  drop  them. 
In  other  respects  the  deer  is  a  simple  animal  and 
stupefied  by  surprise  at  everything — so  much  so  that 
when  a  horse  or  a  heifer  is  approaching  they  do  not 
notice  a  huntsman  close  to  them,  or  if  they  see  him 
merely  gaze  in  wonder  at  his  bow  and  arrows. 
They  cross  seas  swimming  in  a  herd  strung  out  in 
line  with  their  heads  resting  on  the  haunches  of  the 
ones  in  front  of  them,  and  taking  turns  to  drop  to 
the  rear :  this  is  most  noticed  when  they  are  crossing 
from  Cilicia  to  Cyprus ;  and  they  do  not  keep  land 
in  sight  but  swim  towards  its  scent.  The  males  have 
horns,  and  alone  of  animals  shed  them  every  year  at  a 
fixed  time  in  spring ;  consequently  when  the  day  in 
question  approaches  they  resort  as  much  as  possible 
to  unfrequented  places.  When  they  have  lost 
their  horns  they  keep  in  hiding  as  if  disarmed — 
although  these  animals  also  are  grudging  of  their 
special  good:  people  say  that  a  stag's  right  horn, 
which  is  endowed  with  some  sort  of  healing  drug, 
is  never  found ;  and  this  must  be  confessed  to  be  the 
more  surprising  in  view  of  the  fact  that  even  stags 
kept  in  warrens  change  their  horns  every  year: 
it  is  thought  that  they  bury  them.  The  smell  of 
either  horn  when  burnt  arrests  attacks  of  epilepsy. 
They  also  bear  marks  of  their  age  in  their  horns, 
each  y£ar  till  they  are  six  years  old  adding  one  tine ; 

83 

G2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

tempore  similia  revivescunt  nee  potest  aetas  discerni, 
sed  dentibus  senecta  declaratur;  aut  enim  paucos 
aut  nullos  habent,  nee  in  cornibus  imis  ramos  alioqui 

117  ante    front  em    prominere    solitos    iunioribus.     non 
decidunt  castratis  cornua  nee  nascuntur,  erumpunt 
autem  renascentibus   tuberibus  primo   aridae  cuti 
similia,  dein x  teneris  increscunt  ferulis  harundineas 
in  paniculas  molli  plumatas 2  lanugine.     quamdiu 
carent  iis,  noctibus  procedunt  ad  pabula.     incres- 
centia  solis  vapore  durant  ad  arbores  subinde  ex- 
perientes:    ubi  placuit  robur,  in  aperta  prodeunt; 
captique  iam  sunt  hedera  in  cornibus  viridante,  ex 
attritu  arborum   ut   in   aliquo   ligno   teneris   dum 
experiuntur  innata.    sunt 3  aliquando   et   candido 
colore,  qualem  fuisse  tradunt  Q.  Sertorii  cervam 
quam  esse  fatidicam  Hispaniae  gentibus  persuaserat 

118  et    his    cum  serpente  pugna:    vestigant  cavernas 
nariumque  spirit u  extrahunfc  renitentes.    ideo  singu- 
lare  abigendis  serpentibus  odor  adusto  cervino  cornu, 
contra    morsus    vero    praecipuum    remedium    ex 

119  coagulo  hinnulei  matris  in  utero  occisi.     vita  cervis 
in   confesso  longa,  post  c  annos  aliquibus  denuo  4 
captis  cum  torquibus  aureis  quos  Alexander  Magnus 
addiderat  adopertis  iam  cute  in  magna  obesitate. 
febrium  morbos  non  sentit  hoc   animal,   quin   et 

1  MayTioff:  eadem. 

2  Rackham :  plumata. 

3  Pintianug :  fuit. 

*  Mayhojf:,  annos  a  quibusdam  aut  annos  aliquibus. 

84 


BOOK  VIII.  L.  116-119 

though,  thenceforward  the  horns  grow  again  like  the 
old  ones  and  the  age  cannot  be  told  by  them.  But 
old  age  is  indicated  by  the  teeth,  for  the  old  have 
either  few  or  none,  nor  have  they  tines  at  the  bottom 
of  the  horns,  though  otherwise  these  usually  jut  out 
in  front  of  the  brow  when  they  are  younger.  When 
stags  have  been  gelt  the  horns  do  not  fall  off  nor  grow 
again,  but  burst  out  with  excrescences  that  keep 
springing  again,  at  first  resembling  dry  skin,  and 
then  grow  up  with  tender  shoots  into  reedy  tufts 
feathered  with  soft  down.  As  long  as  the  stags  are 
without  them,  they  go  out  to  graze  in  the  nights. 
When  they  are  growing  again  they  harden  them  with 
the  heat  of  the  sun,  subsequently  testing  them  on 
trees,  and  only  go  out  into  the  open  when  satisfied 
with  their  strength;  and  before  now  they  have 
been  caught  with  green  ivy  on  their  antlers,  that  has 
been  grafted  on  the  tender  horns  as  on  a  log  of  wood 
as  a  result  of  rubbing  them  against  trees  while  testing 
them.  Stags  are  sometimes  even  of  a  white  colour, 
as  Quintus  Sertorius's  hind  is  said  to  have  been, 
which  he  had  persuaded  the  tribes  of  Spain  to  believe 
prophetic.  Even  stags  are  at  war  with  a  snake; 
they  track  out  their  holes  and  draw  them  out  by 
means  of  the  breath  of  their  nostrils  in  spite  of  their 
resistance.  Consequently  the  smell  made  by  burn- 
ing stag's  horn  is  an  outstanding  thing  for  driving 
away  serpents,  while  a  sovereign  cure  against  bites 
is  obtained  from  the  rennet  of  a  fawn  killed  in  its 
mother's  womb.  Stags  admittedly  have  a  long  life, 
some  having  been  caught  a  hundred  years  later  with 
the  gold  necklaces  that  Alexander  the  Great  had 
put  on  them  already  covered  up  by  the  hide  in  great 
folds  of  fat.  This  animal  is  not  liable  to  feverish  dis- 

85 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

medetur  huic  timori:  quasdam  modo  principes 
feminas  scimus  omnibus  diebus  matutinis  carnem 
earn  degustare  solitas  et  longo  aevo  caruisse  febribus ; 
quod  ita  demum  existimant  ratum  si  vulnere  uno 
interierit. 

120  Est  eadem  specie,  barba  tantum  et  armorum  villo 
distans,  quern  tragelaphon  vocant,  non  alibi  quam 
iuxta  Phasim  amnem  nascens. 

LI.  Cervos  Africa  propemodum  sola  non  gignit, 
at  chamaeleonem  et  ipsa,  quamquam  frequentiorem 
India.1  figura  et  magnitudo  erant 2  lacerti,  nisi 
crura  essent  recta  et  excelsiora.  latera  ventri 
iunguntur  ut  piscibus,  et  spina  simili  modo  emmet. 

121  rostrum,  ut  in  parvo,  haut  absimile  suillo,  cauda 
praelonga  in  tenuitatem  desinens  et  implicans  se 
viperinis  orbibus,  ungues  adunci,  motus  tardior  ut 
testudini,  corpus  asperum  ceu  crocodilo,   oculi   in 
recessu  cavo,  tenui  discrimine  praegrandes  et  cor- 
pori  concolores.    numquam  eos  operit,  nee  pupillae 

122  motu  sed  totius  oculi  versatione  circumaspicit.    ipse 
celsus  hianti  semper  ore  solus  animalium  nee  cibo  nee 
potu   alitur  nee   alio   quam   aeris   alimento,   rictu 
terrifico  3  fere,  innoxius  alioqui.     et  coloris  natura 
mirabilior ;  mutat  namque  eum  subinde  et  oculis  et 
cauda  et  toto  corpore,  redditque  semper  quemcumque 
proxime    attingit   praeter    rubrum    candidumque. 

1  Mayhoffi   Indiae  (frequentior  est  in  India?    Rackham). 

2  Rackham  :  erat. 

3  Mayhoff :  circa  caprificos. 

0  The  Rion,  running  into  tae  ^lack  Sea. 

b  In  point  of  fact  it  lives  on  insects,  which,  it  catches  by 
shooting  out  the  tongue  and  drawing  it  back  so  quickly  that 
the  ancients  did  not  notice  it: 

c  The  MSS.  give  '  it  is  usually  about  wild  fig-trees.' 

86 


BOOK    VIII.   L.    II9-LI.    122 

eases — indeed  it  even  supplies  a  prophylactic  against 
their  attack;  we  know  that  recently  certain  ladies 
of  the  imperial  house  have  made  a  practice  of  eating 
venison  every  day  in  the  morning1  and  have  been 
free  from  fevers  throughout  a  long  lifetime ;  though 
it  is  thought  that  this  only  holds  good  if  the  stag  has 
been  killed  by  a  single  wound. 

The  animal  called  the  goat-stag,  occurring  only  The 
near  the  river  Phasis,"  is  of  the  same  appearance,  9°at"sta4- 
differing  only  in  having  a  beard,  and  a  fleece  on  the 
shoulders. 

LI.  Africa  almost  alone  does  not  produce  stags,  The 
but  Africa  also  has  the  chamaeleon,  although  India  c'haremlem- 
produces  it  in  greater  numbers.  Its  shape  and  size 
were  those  of  a  lizard,  were  not  the  legs  straight 
and  longer.  The  flanks  are  joined  on  to  the  belly 
as  in  fishes,  and  the  spine  projects  in  a  similar  manner. 
It  has  a  snout  not  unlike  a  pig's,  considering  its 
small  size,  a  very  long  tail  that  papers  towards 
the  end  and  curls  in  coils  like  a  viper,  and  crooked 
talons ;  it  moves  rather  slowly  like  a  tortoise  and  has 
a  rough  body  like  a  crocodile's,  and  eyes  in  a  hollow 
recess,  close  together  and  very  large  and  of  the  same 
colours  as  its  body.  It  never  shuts  its  eyes,  and 
looks  round  not  by  moving  the  pupil  but  by  turning 
the  whole  eye.  It  holds  itself  erect  with  its  mouth 
always  wide  open,  and  it  is  the  only  animal  that  does 
not  live  on  food  or  drink  or  anything  else  but  the 
nutriment  that  it  derives  from  the  air,&  with  a  gape 
that  is  almost  terrifying,0  but  otherwise  it  is  harmless. 
And  it  is  more  remarkable  for  the  nature  of  its  colour- 
ing, since  it  constantly  changes  the  hue  of  its  eyes 
and  tail  and  whole  body  and  always  makes  it  the 
colour  with  which  it  is  in  closest  contact,  except 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

defuncto  pallor  est.  caro  in  capita  et  maxillis  et 
ad  commissuram  caudae  admodum  exigua,  nee 
aliubi  toto  corpore ;  sanguis  in  corde  et  circa  oculos 
tantum;  viscera  sine  splene.  hibernis  mensibus 
latet  ut  lacerta. 

123  LII.  Mutat  colores  et  Scytharum  tarandrus,  nee 
aliud  ex  iis  quae  pilo  vestiuntur  nisi  in  Indis  lycaon, 
cui  iubata  traditur  cervix,    nam  thoes,  — 'luporum 
id  genus  est  procerius  longitudine,  brevitate  crurum 
dissimile,    velox    saltu,    venatu    vivens,    innocuum 
hominij  —  habitum,  non  colorem,  mutant,  per  hiemes 

124  hirti,    aestate    nudi.     tarandro     magnitudo     quae 
bovi    est,    caput     mains     cervino     nee     absimile, 
cornua  ramosa,  ungulae  bifidae,  villus  magnitudine 
ursorum  sed,  cum  libuit  sui  coloris  esse,  asini  similis. 
tergori  tanta   duritia  ut   thoraces   ex   eo   faciant. 
colorem  omnium  arborum,  fruticum,  florum  locor- 
umque  reddit  metuens  in  quibus  latet,  ideoque  raro 
capitur.    mirum  esset  habitum  corpori  tarn  multi- 
plicem  dari,  mirabilius  est  et  villo. 

125  LIII.  Hystrices  generat  India  et  Africa  spinea1 
contectas  cute 2  irenaceorum  genere,  sed  hystrici 
longiores  aculei  et,  cum  intendit  cutem,  missiles: 
ora  urguentium  figit  canum  et  paulo  longius  iaculatur. 
hibernis   autem  se  mensibus  condit,   quae  natura 
multis  et  ante  omiiia  ursis. 

1  v,l,  spina.  2  Mayhoff  :  contecta  acu. 

0  This  is  not  true. 


BOOK  VIII.  LI.  122-Liii.  125 

red  and  white.  When  dead  it  is  of  a  pallid  colour. 
It  has  flesh  on  the  head  and  jaws  and  at  the  junction 
of  the  tail  in  a  rather  scanty  amount,  and  nowhere 
else  in  the  whole  body;  blood  in  the  heart  and 
around  the  eyes  only;  its  vital  parts  contain  no 
spleen.  It  hibernates  like  a  lizard  in  the  winter 
months. 

LIL  The  reindeer  of  Scythia  also  changes  its  The  reindeer: 
colours,  but  none  other  of  the  fur-clad  animals  does  dwyesoj 
so  except  the  Indian  wolf,  which  is  reported  to  have colour' 
a  mane  on  the  neck.  For  the  j  ackal — which  is  a  kind 
of  wolf,  longer  in  the  body  and  differing  in  the 
shortness  of  the  legs,  quick  in  its  spring,  living  by 
hunting,  harmless  to  man — changes  its  raiment 
though  not  its  colour,  being  shaggy  through  the 
winter  but  naked  in  summer.  The  reindeer  is  the 
size  of  an  ox ;  its  head  is  larger  than  that  of  a  stag 
but  not  unlike  it;  it  has  branching  horns,  cloven 
hooves,  and  a  fleece  as  shaggy  as  a  bear's  but,  when 
it  happens  to  be  self-coloured,  resembling  an  ass's 
coat.  The  hide  is  so  hard  that  they  use  it  for  making 
cuirasses.  When  alarmed  it  imitates  the  colours  of 
all  the  trees,  bushes  and  flowers  and  places  where  it 
lurks ,a  and  consequently  is  rarely  caught.  It  would 
be  surprising  that  its  body  has  such  variety  of  charac- 
ter, but  it  is  more  surprising  that  even  its  fleece  has. 

LI  II.  The  porcupine  is  a  native  of  India  and  Africa.  The 
It  is  covered  with  a  prickly  skin  of  the  hedgehogs' 
kind,  but  the  spines  of  the  porcupine  are  longer  and 
they  dart  out  when  it  draws  the  skin  tight :  it  pierces 
the  mouths  of  hounds  when  they  close  with  it,  and 
shoots  out  at  them  when  further  off.  In  the  winter 
months  it  hibernates,  as  is  the  nature  of  many  animals 
and  before  all  of  bears. 

89 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

126  LIV.  Eorum    coitus    hiemis    initio,    nee    vulgar! 
quad  rip  edum  more  sed  ambobus  cubantibus  con- 
plexisque;   deinde  secessus  in  specus  separating  in 
quibus  pariunt  xxx  die  plurimum  quinos.    hi  sunt 
Candida  informisque  caro,  paulo  muribus  maior,  sine 
oculis,  sine  pilo;   ungues  tantum  prominent,    hanc 
lambendo  paulatim  figurant,    nee  quicquam  rarius 
quam  parientem  videre  ursam.    ideo  mares  quadra- 
genis  diebus  latent,  feminae  quaternis  mensibus. 

127  specus  si  non  habuere,  ramorum  fruticumque  con- 
gerie  aedificant  impenetrabiles  imbribus  mollique 
fronde  constratos.    primis  diebus  bis  septenis  tarn 
gravi  somno  premuntur  ut  ne  vulneribus  quidem 
excitari  queant ;    tune  mirum  in  modum  veterno 
pinguescunt  (illi  sunt    adipes   medicaminibus    apti 
contraque  defluvium  capilli  tenaces).     ab  his  diebus 
residunt   ac   priorum   pedum   suctu   vivunt.    fetus 
rigentes  adprimendo  pectori  fovent  non  alio  incubitu 

128  quam  ad  ova  volucres.    mirum  dictu,  credit  Theo- 
phrastus   per  id  tempus   coctas    quoque   ursorum 
carnes,  si  adserventur,  increscere,  cibi  nulla  tune 

1  argumenta  nee  nisi  umoris  minimum  in  alvo  inveniri, 
sanguinis  exiguas  circa  corda  tantum  guttas,  reliquo 

129  corpori  nihil  inesse,    procedunt   vere,   sed   mares 
praepingues,  cuius  rei  causa  non  prompta  est,  quippe 
ne  somno  quidem  saginatis,  praeter  quattuordecim 
dies  ut  diximus.    exeuntes  herbam  quandam  arum 


90 


BOOK  VIII.  LIV.  126-129 

LIV.  Bears  couple  at  the  beginning  of  winter,  The  bear. 
and  not  in  the  usual  manner  of  quadrupeds  but  both 
lying  down  and  hugging  each  other;  afterwards 
they  retire  apart  into  caves,  in  which  they  give  birth 
on  the  thirtieth  day  to  a  litter  of  five  cubs  at  most. 
These  are  a  white  and  shapeless  lump  of  flesh, 
little  larger  than  mice,  without  eyes  or  hair  and  only 
the  claws  projecting.  This  lump  the  mother  bears 
slowly  lick  into  shape.  Nor  is  anything  more  unusual 
than  to  see  a  she-bear  giving  birth  to  cubs.  Con- 
sequently the  males  lie  in  hiding  for  periods  of  forty 
days,  and  the  females  four  months.  If  they  have 
not  got  caves,  they  build  rainproof  %ns  by  heaping 
up  branches  and  brushwood,  with  a  carpet  of  soft 
foliage  on  the  floor.  For  the  first  fortnight  they  sleep 
so  soundly  that  they  cannot  be  aroused  even  by 
wounds ;  at  this  period  they  get  fat  with  sloth  to  a 
remarkable  degree  (the  bear's  grease  is  useful  for 
medicines  and  a,  prophylactic  against  baldness). 
As  a  result  of  these  days  of  sleep  they  shrink  in  bulk 
and  they  live  by  sucking  their  fore  paws.  They 
cherish  their  freezing  offspring  by  pressing  them  to 
their  breast,  lying  on  them  just  like  birds  hatching 
eggs.  Strange  to  say,  Theophrastus  believes  that 
even  boiled  bear's  flesh,  if  kept,  goes  on  growing 
in  size  for  that  period ;  that  no  evidence  of  food  and 
only  the  smallest  amount  of  water  is  found  in  the 
belly  at  this  stage,  and  that  there  are  only  a  few 
drops  of  blood  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  heart 
and  none  in  the  rest  of  the  body.  In  the  spring 
they  come  out,  but  the  males  are  very  fat,  a  fact 
the  cause  of  which  is  not  evident,  as  they  have  not 
been  fattened  up  even  by  sleep,  except  for  a  fortnight 
as  we  have  said.  On  coming  out  they  devour  a  plant 

91 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

nomine  laxandis  intestinis  alioquin  concretis  de- 
vorant  friantque  l  surculos  dentibus  2  praedomantes 
ora.  oculi  eorum  hebetantur,  qua  maxima  causa 
favos  expetuntj  ut  convulneratum  ab  apibus  os  levet 

130  sanguine   gravedinem   illam.     invalidissimum    urso 
caput,  quod  leoni  firmissimum;    ideo  urguente  vi 
praecipitaturi  se  ex  aliqua  rupe  manibus  cooperto 
iaciuntur,    ac    saepe    in    harena    colapho    infracto 
exanimantur.    cerebro  veneficium  inesse  Hispaniae 
credunt,  occisorumque  in  spectaculis  capita  cremant 
testato,  quoniam  potum  in  ursinam  rabiem  agat. 

131  ingrediuntur  et  bipedes ;  arbor  em  aversi  derepunt. 
tauros  ex  ore  cornibusque  eorum  omnibus  pedibus 
suspensi  pondere  fatigant;  nee  alteri  animalium  in 
maleficio  stultitia  sollertior.     annalibus  notatum  est 
M.  Pisone  M.  Messala   coss.    a.  d.  xiv  kal.  Oct. 
Domitium    Ahenobarbum    aedilem    curulem    ursos 
Numidicos  centum  et  totidem  venatores  Aethiopas 
in  circo  dedisse.    miror  adiectum  Numidicos  fuisse, 
cum  in  Africa  ursum  non  gigni  constet. 

132  LV.  Conduntur  hieme  et  Pontici  mures,  dumtaxat 
albi,  quorum  palatum  in  gustu  sagacissimum  auctores 
quonam  modo   intellexerint   miror.     conduntur   et 
Alpini,  quibus  magnitudo  melium  est,  sed  hi  pabulo 

1  Mayhoffi  circaque.  a  Mayhoff :  dentium. 

0  61  B.C.  *  Marmots. 

92 


BOOK  VIII.  LIV,  129-Lv.  132 

called  wake-robin  to  loosen  the  bowels,  which  are 
otherwise  constipated,  and  they  rub  their  teeth  on 
tree-stumps  to  get  their  mouths  into  training.  Their 
eyes  have  got  dim,  which  is  the  chief  reason  why 
they  seek  for  hives,  so  that  their  face  may  be  stung 
by  the  bees  to  relieve  that  trouble  with  blood.  A 
bear's  weakest  part  is  the  head,  which  is  the  lion's 
strongest ;  consequently  if  when  hard  pressed  by  an 
attack  they  are  going  to  fling  themselves  down  from 
a  rock  they  make  the  jump  with  their  head  covered 
with  their  fore  paws,  and  in  the  arena  are  often 
killed  by  their  head  being  broken  by  a  buffet.  The 
Spanish  provinces  believe  that  a  bear's  brain  contains 
poison,  and  when  bears  are  killed  in  shows  their  heads 
are  burnt  in  the  presence  of  a  witness,  on  the  ground 
that  to  drink  the  poison  drives  a  man  bear-mad.  Bears 
even  walk  on  two  feet,  and  they  crawl  down  trees 
backward.  They  tire  out  bulls  with  their  weight  by 
hanging  by  all  four  feet  from  their  mouth  and  horns ; 
and  no  other  animal's  stupidity  is  more  cunning  in 
doing  harm.  It  is  noted  in  the  Annals  that  on  19  Sep- 
tember in  the  consulship  a  of  Marcus  Piso  and  Marcus 
Messala,  Domitius  Ahenobarbus  as  curule  aedile 
provided  in  the  circus  a  hundred  Numidian  bears 
and  the  same  number  of  Ethiopian  huntsmen.  I 
am  surprised  at  the  description  of  the  bears  as 
Numidian,  since  it  is  known  that  the  bear  does  not 
occur  in  Africa. 

LV.  The  mice  of  the  Black  Sea  region  also  hibernate, 
at  all  events  the  white  ones,  which  are  stated  to  have 
a  very  discriminating  palate,  though  I  am  curious  to 
know  how  the  authorities  detected  this.  Alpine 
mice,&  which  are  the  size  of  badgers,  also  hibernate, 
but  these  carry  a  supply  of  fodder  into  their  caves 

93 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

ante  in  specus  convecto.1  quidam  narrant  alternos 
marem  ac  feminam  subrosae  conplexos  fascem  herbae 
supinos  cauda  mordicus  adprehensa  invicem  detrain 
ad  specum,  ideoque  illo  tempore  detrito  esse  dorso. 
sunt  his  pares  et  in  Aegypto,  similiterque  resident 
in  clunes  et  in  binis  pedibus  gradiuntur  prioribusque 
ut  manibus  utuntur. 

133  LVI.  Praeparant    hiemi    et    irenacei    cibos    ac 
volutati  supra  iacentia  poma  adfixa  spinis,  unum 
amplius   tenentes    ore,   portant   in   cavas   arbores. 
iidem  mutationem  aquilonis  in  austrum  condentes 
se  in  cubile  praesagiunt.    ubi  vero  sensere  venantem, 
contracto  ore  pedibusque  ac  parte  omni  inferiore, 
qua  raram  et  innocuam  habent  lanuginem,  convol- 
vuntur  in  formam  pilae,  ne  quid  conprehendi  possit 

134  praeter  aculeos.    in  desperatione  vero  urinam  in  se 
reddunt   tabificam   tergori   suo   spinisque   noxiam, 
propter  hoc  se  capi  gnari.     quamobrem  exinanita 
prius  urina  venari  ars  est.     et  turn  praecipua  dos 
tergori,  alias  corrupto,  fragili,  putribus  spinis  atque 
deciduis,  etiam  si  vivat  subtractus  fuga.     ob  id  non 
nisi    in    novissima    spe    maleficio    eo    perfunditur, 
quippe  et  ipsi  odere  suum  veneficium,  ita  parcentes 
sibi  terminumque  supremum  opperientes  ut  ferme 
ante    captivitas    occupet.    calidae    postea    aquae 

1  Detlefsen  :  cum  quidara  <m£,cum  quidem. 

5 

0  Possibly  jerboas. 
94 


BOOK  VIII.  LV.  132-LVi.  134 

beforehand.  Some  people  say  that  they  let  them- 
selves down  into  their  cave  in  a  string,  male  and  female 
alternately  holding  the  next  one's  tail  in  their  teeth, 
and  lying  on  their  backs,  embracing  a  bundle  of 
grass  that  they  have  bitten  off  at  the  roots,  and  that 
consequently  at  this  season  their  backs  show  marks 
of  rubbing.  There  are  also  mice  a  resembling  these 
in  Egypt,  and  they  sit  back  on  their  haunches  in  a 
similar  way,  and  walk  on  two  feet  and  use  their  fore- 
paws  as  hands. 

LVI.  Hedgehogs  also  prepare  food  for  winter, 
and  fixing  fallen  apples  on  their  spines  by  rolling  protection 
on  them  and  holding  one  more  in  their  mouth  carry 
them  to  hollow  trees.  The  same  animals  foretell  a 
change  of  wind  from  North  to  South  by  retiring  to 
their  lair.  But  when  they  perceive  someone  hunting 
them  they  draw  together  their  mouth  and  feet  and 
all  their  lower  part,  which  has  thin  and  harmless 
down  on  it,  and  roll  up  into  the  shape  of  a  ball, 
so  that  it  may  not  be  possible  to  take  hold  of  any 
part  of  them  except  the  prickles.  But  when  desperate 
they  make  water  over  themselves,  which  corrodes 
their  hide  and  damages  their  spines,  for  the  sake  of 
which  they  know  that  people  catch  them.  Hence 
the  scientific  way  is  to  hunt  them  just  after  they 
have  discharged  their  water.  And  then  the  hide  is  of 
particular  value,  whereas  otherwise  it  is  spoiled  and 
fragile,  with  the  spines  rotting  and  falling  out,  even 
if  the  animal  escapes  by  flight  and  lives.  On  this 
account  it  does  not  drench  itself  with  this  damaging 
stuff  except  as  a  last  resort,  since  even  the  creatures 
themselves  hate  this  self-poisoning,  sparing  them- 
selves and  waiting  for  the  final  limit  so  long  that 
usually  capture  overtakes  them  beforehand.  After- 

95 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

adspersu  resolvitur  pila,  adprehensusque  pes  alter  e 
posterioribus  suspendiosa  fame  necat:    aliter  non 

135  est  occidere  et  tergori  parcere.    ipsum  animal  non, 
tit  remur  plerique,  vitae  hominum  supervacuum  est, 
si  non  sint l  illi  aculei,  frustra  vellerum  mollitia  in 
pecude  mortalibus  data :  hac  cute  expoliuntur  vestes. 
magnum  fraus  et  ibi  lucrum  monopolio  invenit,  de 
nulla  re  crebrioribus  senatus  consultis  nulloque  non 
principe  adito  querimoniis  provincialibus. 

136  LVIL  Urinae   et   duobus   aliis   animalibus  ratio 
mira.    leontophonon  accipimus  vocari  parvom   nee 
aliubi  nascens  quam  ubi  leo  gignitur,  quo  gustato 
tanta  ilia  vis  et  2  ceteris  quadripedum  imperitans 
ilico  expiret.     ergo  corpus  eius  exustum  aspergunt 
aliis    carnibus    polentae    modo    insidiantes    ferae, 
necantque  etiam  cinere:    tarn  contraria  est  pestis. 
haut  inmerito  igitur  odit  leo  visumque  frangit  et 
citra  morsum  exanimat;  ille  contra  urinam  spargit, 
prudens  hanc  quoque  leoni  exitialem. 

137  Lyncum  umor  it  a  redditus 3  ubi  gignuntur  glaciatur 
arescitve  in  gemmas  carbunculis   similes   et  igneo 
colore  fulgentes,   lyncurium  vocatas   atque   ob   id 
sucino  a  plerisque  ita  generari  prodito.    novere  hoc 

1  essent  ?  JtackTiam.  2  Mayhoff  (cf.  §  48) :  ut. 

3  Lyncum  urina  reddita  ?  Mayhoff. 

a  fabulous. 


BOOK  VIII.  LVI.  134-Lvn.  137 

wards  the  ball  into  which  they  roll  up  can  be  made  to 
unroll  by  a  sprinkle  of  hot  water,  and  to  fasten  them 
up  by  one  of  the  hind  feet  kills  them  through  starva- 
tion when  hanging :  it  is  not  possible  to  kill  them  in 
any  other  way  and  avoid  damaging  the  hide.  The 
animal  itself  is  not,  as  most  of  us  think,  superfluous 
for  the  life  of  mankind,  since,  if  it  had  not  spines, 
the  softness  of  the  hides  in  cattle  would  have  been 
bestowed  on  mortals  to  no  purpose :  hedgehog  skin 
is  used  in  dressing  cloth  for  garments.  Even  here 
fraud  has  discovered  a  great  source  of  profit  by 
monopoly,  nothing  having  been  the  subject  of  more 
frequent  legislation  by  the  senate,  and  every  emperor 
without  exception  having  been  approached  by  com- 
plaints from  the  provinces. 

LVII.  The  urine  of  two  other  animals  also  has 
remarkable  properties.  We  are  told  that  there  is  a 1)ane' 
small  animal  called  *  lion's-bane ' a  that  only  occurs 
in  regions  where  the  lion  is  found,  to  taste  of  which 
causes  that  mighty  creature,  the  lord  of  all  the  other 
four-footed  animals,  to  expire  immediately.  Con- 
sequently men  burn  this  creature's  body  and  sprinkle 
it  like  pearl  barley  on  the  flesh  of  other  animals  as  a 
bait  for  a  lion,  and  even  kill  their  prey  with  its 
ashes :  so  noisome  a  bane  it  is.  Therefore  the  lion 
naturally  hates  it,  and  when  he  sees  it  crushes  it 
and  does  all  he  can  short  of  biting  it  to  kill  it ;  while 
it  meets  the  attack  by  spraying  urine,  knowing  already 
that  this  also  is  deadly  to  a  lion. 

The  water  of  lynxes,  voided  in  this  way  when  ®lfJ* 
they  are  born,  solidifies  or  dries  up  into  drops  like  "protection- 
carbuncles  and  of  a  brilliant  flame-colour,  called  lynx- 
water — which  is  the  origin  of  the  common  story  that 
this  is  the  way  in  wfich  amber  is  formed.    The 

97 

VOL.  III.  H 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

sciuntque  lynces,  et  invidentes  urinam  terra  operiunt 
eoque  celerius  solidatur  ilia. 

138  Alia  sollertia  in  metu  melibus:    sufflatae  cutis 
distentu  ictus  hominum  et  morsus  canum  arcent. 

LVIIL  Provident  tempestatem  et  sciuri  obtu- 
ratisque  qua  spiraturus  est  ventus  cavernis  ex  alia 
parte  aperiunt  fores ;  de  cetero  ipsis  villosior  cauda 
pro  tegumento  est.  ergo  in  hiemes  aliis  provisurn 
pabulum,  aliis  pro  cibo  somnus. 

139  LIX.  Serpentium  vipera  sola  terra  dicitur  condi, 
ceterae  arborum  aut  saxorum  cavis.     et  alias  vel 
annua  fame  durant  algore  modo  dempto.     omnia 
secessus    tempore    veneno    orba    dormiunt.    simili 
modo  et  cocleae,  illae  quidem  iterum  et  aestatibus, 
adhaerentes  maxime  saxis,  aut  etiam  iniuria  resu- 

140  pinatae  avolsaeque  non  tamen  exeuntes.    in  Ba- 
liaribus  vero  insulis  cavaticae  appellatae  non  pro- 
repunt  e  cavis  terrae  neque  herba  vivunt,  sed  uvae 
modo  inter  se  cohaerent.     est  et  aliud  genus  minus 
vulgare    adhaerente    operculo    eiusdem    testae    se 
operiens.    obrutae  terra  semper  hae  et  circa  mari- 
timas  tantum  Alpes  quondam  effossae  coepere  iam 
erui  et  in  Veliterno;   omnium  tamen  laudatissimae 
in  Astypalaea  insula. 

141  LX.  Lacertae,  inimicissimum  genus  cocleis,  ne- 


0  Velletri  in  Latium. 

b  One  of  the  Sporades  near  Crete. 


BOOK  VIIL  LVII.  137-1*.  141 

lynxes  have  learnt  this  and  know  it,  and  they 
jealously  cover  up  their  urine  with  earth,  thereby 
causing  it  to  solidify  more  quickly. 

Another  case  of  ingenuity  in  alarm  is  that  of  the 
badgers :  they  ward  off  men's  blows  and  the  bites 
of  dogs  by  inflating  and  distending  their  skin. 

LVIII.  Squirrels  also  foresee  a  storm,  and  stop  The 
up  their  holes  to  windward  in  advance,  opening  s^uirrel- 
doorways  on  the  other  side;    moreover  their  own 
exceptionally  bushy  tail  serves  them  as  a  covering. 
Consequently  some  have  a  store  of  food  ready  for  the 
winter  and  others  use  sleep  as  a  substitute  for  food. 

LIX.  It  is  said  that  the  viper  is  the  only  snake 
that  hides  in  the  ground,  all  the  others  using  holes 
in  trees  or  rocks.  And  for  the  rest  they  can  last 
out  a  year's  starvation  if  only  they  are  protected 
against  cold.  All  kinds  sleep  at  the  period  of 
retirement  and  are  not  poisonous.  Snails  also 
hibernate  in  the  same  way,  these  indeed  retiring 
again  in  the  summers  also,  mostly  clinging  to  rocks, 
or  even  when  violently  bent  back  and  torn  away, 
nevertheless  not  going  out.  But  those  in  the 
Balearic  Islands  called  cave-snails  do  not  crawl  out 
of  their  holes  in  the  ground  and  do  not  live  on  grass, 
but  cling  together  in  a  cluster  like  a  bunch  of  grapes. 
There  is  also  another  kind,  which  is  not  so  common, 
that  shuts  itself  in  with  a  tightly  fitting  lid  formed 
of  the  same  material  as  its  shell.  These  are  always 
buried  in  the  earth,  and  formerly  were  only  dug 
up  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  Maritime  Alps, 
but  they  have  now  begun  to  be  pulled  up  in  the 
Velitraea  district  also;  however  the  most  highly 
commended  kind  of  all  is  on  the  island  of  Astypalaea.6 

LX.  The  greatest  enemy  of  the  snail  is  the  lizard ; 

99 

H2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

gantur  semenstrem  vitam  excedere.  lacertae l 
Arabiae  cubitales,  in  Indiae  vero  Nyso  monte  xxiv 
in  longitudinem  pedum,  coloris  2  fulvi  aut  punicei 
aut  caerulei. 

142  LXI.  Ex  his  quoque  animalibus  quae  nobiscum 
degunt  multa  sunt  cognitu  digna,  fidelissimumque 
ante  omnia  homini  canis   atque  equus.    pugnasse 
adversus   latrones    canem   pro    domino    accepimus 
confectumque  plagis  a  corpore  non  recessisse,  volucres 
ac  feras  abigentem;    ab  alio  in  Epiro  agnitum  in 
conventu  percussorem  domini  laniatuque  et  latratu 
coactum  fateri  scelus.     Garamantum  regem  canes 
CC  ab  exilio  reduxere  proeliati  contra  resistentes. 

143  propter    bella    Colophonii    itemque    Castabalenses 
cohortes  canum  habuere ;  hae  primae  dimicabant  in 
acie  numquam  detrect antes,  haec  erant  fidissima 
auxilia  nee  stipendiorum  indiga.    canes  defendere 
Cimbris    caesis    domus    eorum   plaustris   inpositas. 
canis  lasone  Lycio  interfecto  cibum  capere  noluit 
inediaque    consumptus    est.    is    vero    cui    nomen 
Hyrcani  reddit  Duris  accenso  regis  Lysimachi  rogo 
iniecit    se    flammae,    similiterque    Hieronis    regis. 

144memorat  et  Pyrrhum  Gelonis  tyranni  canem 
Philistus ;  memoratur  et  Nicomedis  Bithyniae  regis 
uxore  eius  Consingi  lacerata  propter  lasciviorem  cum 
marito  iocum.  apud  nos  Vulcatium  nobilem  qui 
Cascellium  ius  civile  docuit  asturcone  e  suburbano 
redeuntem,  cum  advesperavisset,  canis  a  grassatore 


1  lacertae  ?  Mayhoff :  lacesti. 

2  coloris?  Mayhoff  i  oolore. 


a  An  African  tribe. 
6  Cf.  §  166. 


loo 


BOOK  VIII.  LX.  i4i-LXi.  144 

this  genus  is  said  not  to  live  more  than  six  months. 
The  lizard  of  Arabia  is  18  inches  long,  but  those  on 
Mount  Nysus  in  India  reach  a  length  of  24:  feet, 
and  are  coloured  yellow  or  scarlet  or  blue. 

LXI.  Many  also  of  the  domestic  animals  are  Domestic 
worth  studying,  and  before  all  the  one  most  faithful 
to  man,  the  dog,  and  the  horse.  We  are  told  of  %*• 
a  dog  that  fought  against  brigands  in  defence  of 
his  -  master  and  although  covered  with  wounds 
would  not  leave  his  corpse,  driving  away  birds 
and  beasts  of  prey;  and  of  another  dog  in 
Epirus  which  recognized  his  master's  murderer  in  a 
gathering  and  by  snapping  and  barking  made  him 
confess  the  crime.  The  King  of  the  Garamantes a 
was  escorted  back  from  exile  by  200  dogs  who  did 
battle  with  those  that  offered  resistance.  The  people 
of  Colophon  and  also  those  of  Castabulum  had  troops 
of  dogs  for  their  wars ;  these  fought  fiercely  in  the 
front  rank,  never  refusing  battle,  and  were  their  most 
loyal  supporters,  never  requiring  pay.  When  some 
Cimbrians  were  killed  their  hounds  defended  their 
houses  placed  on  waggons.  When  Jason  of  Lycia 
had  been  murdered  his  dog  refused  to  take  food 
and  starved  to  death.  But  a  dog  the  name  of  which 
Duris  gives  as  Hyrcanus  when  king  Lysimachus's 
pyre  was  set  alight  threw  itself  into  the  flame,  and 
similarly  at  the  funeral  of  King  Hiero,  Philistus 
also  records  the  tyrant  Gelo's  dog  Pyrrhus;  also 
the  dog  of  Nicomedes  king  of  Bithynia  is  recorded 
to  have  bitten  the  King's  wife  Consingis  because  she 
played  a  rather  loose  j  oke  with  her  husband.  Among 
ourselves  the  famous  Vulcatius,  Cascellius's  tutor  in 
civil  law,  when  returning  on  his  cob &  from  his  place 
near  Rome  after  nightfall  was  defended  by  his  dog 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

defendit,  item  Caelium  senatorem  aegrum  Placentiae 
ab  armatis  oppression,  nee  prius  ille  vulneratus  est 

145  quam  cane  interempto.     sed  super  omnia  in  nostro 
aevo  actis  p.  R.  testatum  Appio  lunio  et  P,  Silio 
coss.,    cum    animadvert eretur    ex    causa    Neronis 
Germanici  fili  in  Titium  Sabinum  et  servitia  eius, 
unius  ex  his  canem  nee  in  carcere  abigi  potuisse  nee 
a  corpore  recessisse  abiecti  in  gradibus  gemitoriis 
maestos  edentem  ululatus  magnae  p.  R.  coronae,1 
ex  qua  cum  quidam  ei  cibum  obiecisset,  ad  os  de- 
functi  tulisse ;   innatavit  idem  cadaver 2  in  Tiberim 
abiecti 3  sustentare  conatus3  effusa  multitudine   ad 
spectandam  animalis  fidem. 

146  Soli    dominum    novere,    et    ignotum    quoque    si 
repente  veniat  intellegunt;    soli  nomina  sua,  soli 
vocem    domesticam    agnoscunt;     itinera    quamvis 
longa  meminere,  nee  ulli  praeter  hominem  memoria 
maior.    impetus    eorum   et   saevitia   mitigatur   ab 

147  homine  considente  humi.    plurima  alia  in  his  cotidie 
vita  invenit,  sed  in  venatu  sollertia  et  sagacitas 
praecipua  est.     scrutatur  vestigia  atque  persequitur, 
comitantem  ad  feram  inquisitorem  loro  trahens,  qua 
visa  quam  silens  etocculta  set  quam  significans  demon- 
stratio  est  cauda  primum,  deinde  rostro.     ergo  etiam 
senecta   fessos   caecosque   ac    debiles   sinu   ferunt 

1  Rodham  :  magna  p.  R.  corona. 

2  v.l,  cadavere  :  cadaveri  ?  Mayhoff. 

3  Brotier:  abiecto. 

a  A.D.  28. 
102 


BOOK  VIII.  LXI.  144-147 

from  a  highwayman ;  and  so  was  the  senator  Caelius, 
an  invalid,  when  set  upon  by  armed  men  at  Piacenza, 
and  he  did  not  receive  a  wound  till  the  dog  had  been 
despatched.  But  above  all  cases,  in  our  own  genera- 
tion it  is  attested  by  the  National  Records  that  in  the 
consulship  a  of  Appius  Julius  and  Publius  Silius  when 
as  a  result  of  the  case  of  Germanicus's  son  Nero 
punishment  was  visited  on  Titius  Sabinus  and  his 
slaves,  a  dog  belonging  to  one  of  them  could  not  be 
driven  away  from  him  in  prison  and  when  he  had  been 
flung  out  on  the  Steps  of  Lamentation  would  not 
leave  his  body,  uttering  sorrowful  howls  to  the  vast 
concourse  of  the  Roman  public  around,  and  when 
one  of  them  threw  it  food  it  carried  it  to  the  mouth 
of  its  dead  master ;  also  when  his  corpse  had  been 
thrown  into  the  Tiber  it  swam  to  it  and  tried  to  keep 
it  afloat,  a  great  crowd  streaming  out  to  view  the 
animal's  loyalty. 
Dogs  alone  know  their  master,  and  also  recognize  intelli 

11.1  11  .       ofdog 

a  sudden  arrival  as  a  stranger ;  they  alone  recognize 
their  own  names,  and  the  voice  of  a  member  of  the 
household;  they  remember  the  way  to  places  how- 
ever distant,  and  no  creature  save  man  has  a  longer 
memory.  Their  onset  and  rage  can  be  mollified 
by  a  person  sitting  down  on  the  ground.  Experience 
daily  discovers  very  many  other  qualities  in  these 
animals,  but  it  is  in  hunting  that  their  skill  and 
sagacity  is  most  outstanding.  A  hound  traces  and 
follows  footprints,  dragging  by  its  leash  the  tracker 
that  accompanies  it  towards  his  quarry ;  and ,  on 
sighting  it  how  silent  and  secret  but  how  significant 
an  indication  is  given  first  by  the  tail  and  then  by 
the  muzzle!  Consequently  even  when  they  are 
exhausted  with  old  age  and  blind  and  weak,  men 

103 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

ventos  et  odorem  captantes  protendentesque  rostra 
ad  cubilia. 

148  E  tigribus  eos  Indi  volunt  concipi,  et  ob  id  in  silvis 
coitus  tempore  alligant  feminas.    primo  et  secundo 
fetu  nimis  feroces  putant  gigni,  tertio  demum  edu- 
cant.    hoc  idem  e  lupis  Galli,  quorum  greges  suum 
quisque   ductorem  e  canibus 1   et   ducem  habent : 
ilium  in  venatu  comitantur,  illi  parent ;  namque  inter 
se  exercent  etiam  magisteria.     certum   est  iuxta 
Nilum  amnem  currentes  lamb  ere,  ne  crocodilorum 

149  aviditati    occasionem    praebeant.     Indiam    petenti 
Alexandro    Magno    rex    Albaniae    dono    dederat 
inusitatae  magnitudinis  unum,  cuius  specie  delec- 
tatus  iussit  ursos,  mox  apros  et  deinde  damas  emitti, 
contemptu  inmobili  iacente  eo;   qua  segnitia  tanti 
corporis  offensus  imperator  generosi  spiritus  interimi 
eum  iussit.    nuntiavit  hoc  fama  regi ;  itaque  alterum 
mittens  addidit  mandata  ne  in  parvis  experiri  vellet 
sed  in  leone  elephantove;    duos   sibi  fuisse,  hoc 

150  interempto    praeterea    nullum    fore,    nee    distulit 
Alexander,  leonemque  fractum  protinus  vidit.  postea 
elephantum  iussit  induci,  haud  alio  magis  spectaculo 
laetatus :  horrentibus  quippe  villis  per  totum  corpus 
ingenti    primum    latratu    intonuit,    mox    ingruit 2 


1  [e  canibus]  ?  JRackham. 

2  Oronovius :  inorevit  aut  in  cervicem. 


104 


BOOK  VIII.  LXI.  147-150 

carry  them  in  their  arms  sniffing  at  the  breezes 
and  scents  and  pointing  their  muzzles  towards 
cover. 

The  Indians  want  hounds  to  be  sired  by  tigers,  Dogs  crossed 
and  at  the  breeding  season  they  tie  up  bitches  in  the 
woods  for  this  purpose.  They  think  that  the  first 
and  second  litters  are  too  fierce  and  they  only  rear 
the  third  one.  Similarly  the  Gauls  breed  hounds 
from  wolves ;  each  of  their  packs  has  one  of  the 
dogs  as  leader  and  guide;  the  pack  accompanies 
this  leader  in  the  hunt  and  pays  it  obedience ;  for 
dogs  actually  exercise  authority  among  themselves. 
It  is  known  that  the  dogs  by  the  Nile  lap  up  water 
from  the  river  as  they  run,  so  as  not  to  give  the 
greed  of  the  crocodiles  its  chance.  When  Alexander  A  famous 
the  Great  was  on  his  way  to  India,  the  king  of  Albania  Jwmd' 
had  presented  him  with  one  dog  of  unusually  large 
size;  Alexander  was  delighted  by  its  appearance, 
and  gave  orders  for  bears  and  then  boars  and  finally 
hinds  to  be  let  slip — the  hound  lying  contemptuously 
motionless.  This  slackness  on  the  part  of  so  vast  an 
animal  annoyed  the  generous  spirit  of  the  Emperor, 
who  ordered  it  to  be  destroyed.  Report  carried 
news  of  this  to  the  king ;  and  accordingly  sending 
a  second  hound  he  added  a  message  that  Alexander 
should  not  desire  to  test  it  on  small  game  but  on  a 
lion  or  an  elephant;  he  had  only  possessed  two  of 
the  breed  and  if  this  one  was  destroyed  there  would 
be  none  left.  Alexander  did  not  put  off  the  trial, 
and  forthwith  saw  a  lion  crushed.  Afterwards  he 
ordered  an  elephant  to  be  brought  in,  and  no  other 
show  ever  gave  him  more  delight:  for  the  dog's 
hair  bristled  all  over  his  body  and  it  first  gave  a 
vast  thunderous  bark,  then  kept  leaping  up  and 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

adsultans  contraque  membra  x  exurgens  hinc  et  illinc 
artifici  dimicatione,  qua  maxume  opus  esset  infestans 
atque  evitans,  donee  adsidua  rotatum  vertigine 
adflixit  ad  casum  eius  tellure  concussa. 

151  LXII.  Canum  generi  bis  anno  partus.    iusta  ad 
pariendum  annua  aetas.     gerunt  uterum  sexagenis 
diebus.     gignunt  caecos,   et   quo   largiore   aluntur 
lacte    eo   tardiorem   visum   accipiunt,    non   tamen 
umquam    ultra    xxi    diem    nee    ante    septimum. 
quidam  tradunt,  si  unus  gignatur,  nono  die  cernere, 
si  geminij  decumo,  itemque  in  singulos  adici  totidem 
tarditatis  ad  lucem  dies,  et  ab  ea  quae  sit  femina  ex 
primipara  genita  citius  2  cerni.     optumus  in  fetu  qui 
novissimus  cernere  incipitj  aut  quern  primum  fert  in 
cubile  feta. 

152  LXIIL  Rabies  canum  sirio  ardente  homini  pesti- 
fera,   ut   diximus,   ita   morsis   letali   aquae   metu. 
quapropter  obviam  itur  per  xxx  eos  dies  gallinaceo 
niaxime  fimo  inmixto  canum  cibis  aut,  si  praevenerit 
morbus,  veratro.    a  morsu  vero  unicum  remedium 
oraculo    quodam   nuper   repertum   radix   silvestris 

153  rosae  quae  cynorrhoda  appellatur.    Columella  auctor 
est,  si  XL  die  quam  sit  natus  castretur  morsu  cauda 
summusque  eius  articulus  auferatur,  spinae  3  nervo 
exempto  nee  caudam  crescere  nee  canes  rabidos 
fieri,    canem  locutum  in  prodigiis,  quod  equidem 

1  v.l.  contraque  beluam.          2  Edd. :  clunos  aut  faunos. 
3  Mayhoff  e  Columella  :  sequi. 

«  Cf.  II 107. 
106 


BOOK  VIII.  LXI.  150-Lxm.  153 

rearing  against  the  creature's  limbs  on  this  side  and 
that,  in  scientific  combat,  attacking  and  retiring  at 
the  most  necessary  points,  until  the  elephant  turning 
round  and  round  in  an  unceasing  whirl  was  brought 
to  the  ground  with  an  earth-shaking  crash. 

LXII.  The  genus  dog  breeds  twice  a  year.  Ma-  Dog 
turity  for  reproduction  begins  at  the  age  of  one.  lreedi 
They  carry  their  young  for  sixty  days.  Puppies 
are  born  blind,  and  acquire  sight  the  more  slowly 
the  more  copious  the  milk  with  which  they  are 
suckled;  though  the  blind  period  never  lasts  more 
than  three  weeks  or  less  than  one.  Some  people 
report  that  a  puppy  born  singly  sees  on  the  9th  day, 
twins  on  the  10th,  and  so  on,  a  corresponding  number 
of  days'  delay  in  seeing  light  being  added  for  each 
extra  puppy ;  and  that  a  bitch  of  a  first  litter  begins 
to  see  sooner.  The  best  in  a  litter  is  the  one  that 
begins  to  see  last,  or  else  the  one  that  the  mother 
carries  into  the  kennel  first  after  delivery. 

LXII  I.  Rabies  in  dogs,  as  we  have  said,  is  dangerous  Precautions 
to  human  beings  in  periods  when  the  dog-star  is 
shining/*  as  it  causes  fatal  hydrophobia  to  those  bitten 
in  those  circumstances.  Consequently  a  precaution- 
ary measure  during  the  30  days  in  question  is 
to  mix  dung — mostly  chicken's  droppings,  in  the  dog's 
food,  or,  if  the  disease  has  come  already,  hellebore. 
But  after  a  bite  the  only  cure  is  one  which  was  lately 
discovered  from  an  oracle,  the  root  of  the  wild-rose 
called  in  Greek  dog-rose.  Columella  states  that  if  a 
dog's  tail  is  docked  by  being  bitten  off  and  the  end 
joint  amputated  40  days  after  birth,  the  spinal  marrow 
having  been  removed  the  tail  does  not  grow  again 
and  the  dog  is  not  liable  to  rabies.  The  only  cases 
that  have  come  down  to  us  among  portents,  so  far 

107 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

adnotaverim,  accepimus  et  serpentem  latrasse  cum 
pulsus  est  regno  Tarquinius. 

154  LXIV.  Eidem  Alexandro  et  equi  magna  raritas 
contigit.     Bucephalan  eum  vocarunt  sive  ab  aspectu 
torvo  sive  ab  insigni  taurini  capitis  armo  inpressi. 
xvi   talentis    ferunt    ex   Philonici   Pharsalii    grege 
emptum  etiam  turn  puero  capto  ems  decore.    ne- 
minem  hie  alium  quam  Alexandrum  regio  instratu 
ornatus  recepit  in  sedem,  alias  passim  recipiens. 
idem  in  proeliis  memoratae  cuiusdam  perhibetur 
operae,    Thebarum    oppugnatione     vulneratus     in 
alium    transire    Alexandrum    non    passus;    multa 
praeterea  eiusdem  modi,  propter  quae  rex  defuncto 
ei   duxit   exequias   urbemque  tumulo   circumdedit 

155  nomine    eius.    nee    Caesaris   dictatoris   quemquam 
alium  recepisse  dorso  equus  traditur,  idemque  similis 
humanis  pedes  priores  habuisse,  hac  effigie  locatus 
ante    Veneris    Genetricis    aedem.     fecit    et    divus 
Augustus  equo  tumulum,  de  quo  Germanici  Caesaris 
carmen  est.    Agrigenti  conplurium  equorum  tumuli 
pyramides  habent.     equum  adamatum  a  Samiramide 

156  usque  in  coitum l  luba  auctor  est.    Scythici  quidem 
equitatus  equorum  gloria  strepunt :  occiso  regulo  ex 
provocatione  dimicantem  hostem,  cum  ad  spoliandum 

1  usque  ad  rogum  ?  JBrotier. 

a  Say  nearly  £4000  gold. 
6  Bucephala,  see  VI  77. 

0  I.e.  with  toes  not  united  into  a  hoof :  if  true,  a  throw- 
bach  to  the  prehistoric  horse. 
d  Hyginus  Fab.  243 :  equo  amisso  in  pyram  se  coniecit. 

108 


BOOK  VIII.  LXIII,  i53-Lxiv.  156 

as  I  have  noted,  of  a  dog  talking  and  a  snake  barking 
were  when  Tarquin  was  driven  from  his  kingdom. 

LXIV.  Alexander  also  had  the  good  fortune  to  Famous 
own  a  great  rarity  in  horseflesh.  They  called  the 
animal  Bucephalus,  either  because  of  its  fierce  appear- 
ance or  from  the  mark  of  a  bull's  head  branded  on 
its  shoulder.  It  is  said  that  it  was  bought  for 
sixteen  talents a  from  the  herd  of  Philonicus  of  Phar- 
salus  while  Alexander  was  still  a  boy,  as  he  was  taken 
by  its  beauty.  This  horse  when  adorned  with  the 
royal  saddle  would  not  allow  itself  to  be  mounted 
by  anybody  except  Alexander,  though  on  other 
occasions  it  allowed  anybody  to  mount.  It  is  also 
celebrated  for  a  memorable  feat  in  battle,  not  having 
allowed  Alexander  during  the  attack  on  Thebes 
to  change  to  another  mount  when  it  had  been 
wounded ;  and  a  number  of  occurrences  of  the  same 
kind  are  also  reported,  on  account  of  which  when 
it  died  the  king  headed  its  funeral  procession,  and 
built  a  city  round  its  tomb  which  he  named  after  it.& 
Also  the  horse  that  belonged  to  Caesar  the  Dictator 
is  said  to  have  refused  to  let  anyone  else  mount  it ; 
and  it  is  also  recorded  that  its  fore  feet  were  like  those 
of  a  man,c  as  it  is  represented  in  the  statue  that  stands 
in  front  of  the  Temple  of  Venus  Genetrix.  The  late 
lamented  Augustus  also  made  a  funeral  mound  for  a 
horse,  which  is  the  subject  of  a  poem  by  Germanicus 
Caesar.  At  Girgenti  a  great  number  of  horses' 
tombs  have  pyramids  over  them.  Juba  attests 
that  Semiramis  fell  so  deeply  in  love  with  a  horse 
that  she  married  it.<*  The  Scythian  cavalry  regiments 
indeed  resound  with  famous  stories  of  horses:  a 
chieftain  was  challenged  to  a  duel  by  an  enemy 
and  killed,  and  when  his  adversary  came  to  strip 

109 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

venisset,  ab  equo  eius  ictibus  morsuque  confectum, 
alium  detracto  oculorum  operimento  et  cognito  cum 
matre  coitu  petisse  praerupta  atque  exanimatum. 
eadem 1  ex  causa  in  Reatino  agro  laceratum  prorigam 
invenimus.  namque  et  cognationum  intellectus  his 
est,  atque  in  grege  prioris  anni  sororem  libentius 

157  etiam    quam    matrem    equa    comitatur.     docilitas 
tanta  est  ut  universus  Sybaritani  exercitus  equitatus 
ad  symphoniae  cantum  saltatione  quadam  moveri 
solitus  inveniatur.    idem  praesagiunt  pugnam,   et 
amissos  lugent  dominos :    lacrimas 2  interdum  de- 
siderio  fundunt.    interfecto  Nicomede  rege   equos 

158  eius  inedia  vitam  finivit.    Phylarchus  refert  Cen- 
taretum  e  Galatis  in  proelio  occiso  Antiocho  potitum 
equo  eius  conscendisse  ovantem,  at  ilium  indignation  e 
accensum  domitis  frenis  ne  regi  posset  praecipitem 
in  abrupta  isse  exanimatumque  una;    Philistus  a 
Dionysio  relictum  in  caeno  haerentem,  ut  se  evellisset , 
secutum    vestigia    domini    examine    apium    iubae 
inhaerente,  eoque  ostento  tyrannidem  a  Dionysio 
occupatam. 

159  LXV.  Ingenia    eorum    inenarrabilia.    iaculantes 
obsequia  experiuntur  difficiles  conatus  corpore  ipso 
nisuque  iuvantium 3 ;  item  4  tela  humi  collecta  equiti 
porrigunt.    nam  in  circo  ad  currus  iuncti  non  dubie 

1  v.tt,  aequa  eadem,  equa  eadem. 

2  v.l.  lacrimasque. 

3  Hardouin :  invitantium. 

4  Mayhoff:  iam* 

IIO 


BOOK  VIII.  LXIV.  I56-LXV.  159 

his  body  of  its  armour,  his  horse  kicked  him  and  bit 
him  till  he  died;  another  horse,  when  its  blinkers 
were  removed  and  it  found  out  that  a  mare  it  had 
covered  was  its  dam,  made  for  a  precipice  and  com- 
mitted suicide,  We  read  that  an  ostler  in  the  Reate 
district  was  savaged  by  a  horse  for  the  same  reason. 
For  horses  actually  understand  the  ties  of  relation- 
ship, and  a  filly  in  a  herd  is  even  fonder  of  going 
with  a  sister  a  year  older  than  with  their  dam. 
Their  docility  is  so  great  that  we  learn  that  the  entire 
cavalry  of  the  army  of  Sybaris  used  to  perform  a  sort 
of  ballet  to  the  music  of  a  band.  The  Sybarite 
horses  also  know  beforehand  when  there  is  going  to 
be  a  battle,  and  when  they  lose  their  masters  mourn 
for  them :  sometimes  they  shed  tears  at  the  bereave- 
ment. When  King  Nicomedes  was  killed  his  horse 
ended  its  life  by  refusing  food.  Phylarchus  records 
that  when  Antiochus  fell  in  battle  one  of  the  Galatians 
Centaretus  caught  his  horse  and  mounted  it  in 
triumph,  but  it  was  fired  with  indignation  and  taking 
the  bit  between  its  teeth  so  as  to  become  unmanage- 
able, galloped  headlong  to  a  precipice  where  it 
perished  with  its  rider.  Philistus  records  that 
Dionysius  left  his  horse  stuck  in  a  bog,  and  when 
it  extricated  itself  it  followed  its  master's  tracks 
with  a  swarm  of  bees  clinging  to  its  mane ;  and  that 
in  consequence  of  this  portent  Dionysius  seized  the 
tyranny. 
LXV.  The  cleverness  of  horses  is  beyond  descrip-  other  proofs 

TV,  i  •        i*  .  ,1.1      «v7     ohntelhgence 

tion.    Mounted  javelmmen  experience  their  docility  m  horses. 
in  assisting  difficult  attempts  with  the  actual  swaying 
of  their  body;    also  they  gather  up  the  weapons 
lying  on  the  ground  and  pass  them  to  their  rider. 
Horses   harnessed    to   chariots   in   the  circus  un- 

iii 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

160  intellectum  adhortationis  et  gloriae  fatentur.  Claudi 
Caesaris  saecularium  ludorum  circensibus   excusso 
in    carceribus    auriga    albati     Corace    occupavere 
primatum,  optinuere,  opponentes  effundentes  om- 
niaque  contra  aemulos  quae  debuissent  peritissimo 
auriga  insist ente  facientes,  et 1  cum  puderet  hominum 
artem  ab   equis  vinci,  peracto  legitimo  cursu  ad 

161  cretam  stetere.    maius  augurium  apud  priscos  plebeis 
circensibus  excusso  auriga  ita  ut  si  staret  in  Capitol- 
ium  cucurrisse  equos  aedemque  ter  lustrasse ;  maxi- 
mum vero  eodem  pervenisse  a  Veis  cum  palma  et 
corona   effuso   Ratumenna   qui   ibi   vicerat:    unde 

162  postea    nomen    portae    est.    Sarmatae    longinquo 
itineri 2  inedia  pridie  praeparant  eos,  potum  tantum 
exiguum  inpertientes,  atque  ita  per  centena*  milia  et 
quinquaginta  continue  cursu  euntibus  insident. 

Vivunt  annis  quidam  quinquagenis,  feminae 
minor e  spatio ;  eaedem  quinquennio  finem  crescendi 
capiunt,  mares  anno  addito.  forma  equorum  qualis 
maxime  elegi3  oporteat  pulcherrime  quidem  Ver- 
gilio  vate  absoluta  est,  sed  et  nos  diximus  in  libro 
de  iaculatione  equestri  condito,  et  fere  inter 
omnes  constare  video,  diversa  autem  circo  ratio 

1  et  add.  ?  Mayhoff.  2  Mayhoff :  acturi. 

3  JRackham :  legi. 

0  A.D.  47, 

6  The  Porta  Batumenna  at  Borne. 

c  About  138  English  miles. 

d  Georgics  III  72. 

112 


BOOK  VIII.  LXV.  159-162 

questionably  show  that  they  understand  the  shouts 
of  encouragement  and  applause.  At  the  races  in 
the  circus  forming  part  of  the  Secular  Games a  of 
Claudius  Caesar  a  charioteer  of  the  Whites  named 
Baven  was  thrown  at  the  start,  and  his  team  took  the 
lead  and  kept  it  by  getting  in  the  way  of  their  rivals 
and  jostling  them  aside  and  doing  everything  against 
them  that  they  would  have  had  to  do  with  a  most 
skilful  charioteer  in  control,  and  as  they  were 
ashamed  for  human  science  to  be  beaten  by  horses, 
when  they  had  completed  the  proper  course  they 
stopped  dead  at  the  chalk  line.  A  greater  portent 
was  when  in  early  days  a  charioteer  was  thrown 
at  the  plebeian  circus  races  and  the  horses  galloped 
on  to  the  Capitol  and  raced  round  the  temple  three 
times  just  the  same  as  if  he  still  stood  at  the  reins ; 
but  the  greatest  was  when  a  chariot-team  reached 
the  same  place  from  Veii  with  the  palm-branch  and 
wreath  after  Batumenna  who  had  won  at  Veii 
had  been  thrown:  an  event  which  subsequently 
gave  its  name  to  the  gate.6  The  Sarmatians  get 
their  horses  into  training  for  a  long  journey  by  giving 
them  no  fodder  the  day  before  and  only  allowing 
them  a  small  amount  of  water,  and  by  these  means 
they  ride  them  on  a  journey  of  150  miles c  without 
drawing  rein. 

Some  horses  live  fifty  years,  but  mares  live  a  shorter  4j£  tf 
time ;  mares  stop  growing  when  five  years  old,  the  ranges  of 
males  a  year  later.    The  appearance  of  the  horse  build' 
that  ought  to  be  most  preferred  has  been  very 
beautifully  described  in  the  poetry  of  Virgil,d  but  we 
also  have  dealt  with  it  in  our  book  on  the  Use  of 
the  Javelin  by  Cavalry,  and  I  observe  that  there  is 
almost  universal  agreement  about  it.    But  a  different 

"3 

VOL.  III.  I 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

quaeritur ;    itaque   cum   bimi 1   alio    subiungantur 
imperio,  non  ante  quinquennes  ibi  certamen  accipit, 

163  LXVI.  Partum  in  eo   genere   undenis   mensibus 
ferunt,  duodecimo  gignunt.    coitus  verno  aequinoctio 
bimo  utrimque  vulgaris,  sed  a  trimatu  firmior  partus. 
generat  mas  ad  annos  xxxni,  utpote  cum  a  circo 
post    vicesimum    annum    mittantur    ad    subolem. 
Opunte  et  ad  quadraginta  durasse  tradunt  adiutum 

164  modo  in  attollenda  priore  parte  corporis.      sed  ad 
generandum    paucis    animalium    minor    fertilitas; 
qua   de   causa   intervalla   admissurae    dantur,   nee 
tamen     quindecim    initus     eiusdem     anni     valet 
tolerare.     equarum  libido   extinguitur  iuba  tonsa; 
gignunt  annis  omnibus  ad  quadragesimum.  vixisse 
equam  2  LXXV  annos  proditur. 

165  In  hoc  genere  gravida  stans  parit;    praeterque 
ceteras  fetum  diligit.     et  sane  equis  amoris  innasci- 
tur3  veneficium  hippomanes  appellatum  in  fronte, 
caricae  magnitudine,  colore  nigro,  quod  statim  edito 
partu  devorat  feta  aut  partum  ad  ubera  non  admittit. 
si    quis   praereptum  habeat,  olfactu  in  rabiem  id 
genus   agitur.     amissa   parente   in   grege    armenti 
reliquae  fetae  educant  orbum.     terram  attingere 
ore  triduo  proximo  quam  sit  genitus  negant  posse. 

1  Rackham  :  bimi  in. 

2  Rodham :  equum. 

3  Rackham :  innasci. 

114 


BOOK  VIII.  LXV.  i62-LXvi.  165 

build  is  required  for  the  Circus;  and  consequently 
though  horses  may  be  broken  as  two-year-olds  to 
other  service,  racing  in  the  Circus  does  not  claim 
them  before  five. 

LXVI.  Gestation  in  this  genus  lasts  eleven  months 
and  the  foal  is  born  in  the  twelfth  month.  Breeding 
takes  place  as  a  rule  in  the  spring  equinox  when 
both  animals  are  two-year-olds,  but  the  progeny 
is  stronger  if  breeding  begins  at  three.  A  stallion 
goes  on  serving  to  the  age  of  33,  as  they  are  sent  from 
the  race-course  to  the  stud  at  20.  It  is  recorded 
that  a  stallion  at  Opus  even  continued  to  40,  only  he 
needed  assistance  in  lifting  his  fore-quarters.  But 
few  animals  are  such  unfertile  sires  as  the  horse; 
consequently  intervals  are  allowed  in  breeding, 
and  nevertheless  a  stallion  cannot  stand  serving 
fifteen  times  in  the  same  year.  Mares  in  heat 
are  cooled  down  by  having  their  manes  shorn; 
they  foal  yearly  up  to  40.  It  is  stated  that  a  mare 
has  lived  to  75. 

In  the  equine  genus  the  pregnant  female  is 
delivered  standing  up  ;  and  she  loves  her  offspring 
more  than  all  other  female  animals.  And  in  fact  a 
love-poison  called  horse-frenzy  is  found  in  the  fore- 
head of  horses  at  birth,  the  size  of  a  dried  fig,  black 
in  colour,  which  a  brood  mare  as  soon  as  she  has 
dropped  her  foal  eats  up,  or  else  she  refuses  to  suckle 
the  foal.  If  anybody  takes  it  before  she  gets  it, 
and  keeps  it,  the  scent  drives  him  into  madness 
of  the  kind  specified.  If  a  foal  loses  its  dam  the 
other  brood  mares  in  the  same  herd  rear  the 
orphan.  It  is  said  that  a  foal  is  unable  to  reach  the 
ground  with  its  mouth  within  the  first  three  days 
after  birth.  The  greedier  it  is  in  drinking  the  deeper 


i2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

quo  quis  acrior  in  bibendo  profundius  nares  mergit. 
Scythae  per  bella  feminis  uti  malunt,  quoniam 
urinam  cursu  non  inpedito  reddant. 

166  LXVII.  Constat   in   Lusitania   circa   Olisiponem 
oppidum  et  Tagum  amnem   equas  favonio  flante 
obversas  animalem  concipere  spiritum,  idque  partum 
fieri  et  gigni  pernicissimum  ita,  sed  triennium  vitae 
non  excedere.    in  eadem  Hispania  Gallaica  gens 
et  Asturica  equini  generis,1  quos  theldones  vocamus, 
minore  forma  appellatos  asturcones,  gignunt  quibus 
non  vulgaris   in   cursu   gradus   sed  mollis   alterno 
crurum   explicatu  glomeratio,   unde   equis   tolutim 
capere  incursum  traditur  arte. 

Equo  fere  qui  homini  morbi,  praeterque  vesicae 
conversio,  sicut  omnibus  in  genere  veterino. 

167  LXVIII.  Asinum    cccc    nummum    emptum    Q. 
Axio  senatori  auctor  est  M.  Varro,  haut  scio  an 
omnium  pretio  animalium  victo.     opera  sine  dubio 
generi     munifica    arando    quoque,    sed    mularum 
maxime    progeneratione.    patria    etiam    spectatur 
in  his,  Arcadicis  in  Achaia,  in  Italia  Reatinis.    ipsum 
animal  frigoris  maxime  impatiens :  ideo  non  genera- 
tur  in  Ponto,  nee  aequinoctio  verno  ut  cetera  pecua 

168  admittitur  sed  solstitio.    mares  in  remissione  operis 
deteriores.    partus   a  tricensimo   mense   ocissimus 

1  Barbarus  :  generis  hi  sunt. 

a  Aristotle,  H.A.  VI  572a  13,  places  this  occurrence  in 
Crete. 
»  About  £3200  gold, 

116 


BOOK  VIII.  LXVI.  i65-Lxvm.  168 

it  dips  its  nostrils  into  the  water.  The  Scythians 
prefer  mares  as  chargers,  because  they  can  make 
water  without  checking  their  gallop. 

LXVI  I.  It  is  known  that  in  Lusitania a  in  the  Horse- 
neighbourhood  of  the  town  of  Lisbon  and  the  river 
Tagus  mares  when  a  west  wind  is  blowing  stand 
facing  towards  it  and  conceive  the  breath  of  life  and 
that  this  produces  a  foal,  and  this  is  the  way  to 
breed  a  very  swift  colt,  but  it  does  not  live  more  than 
three  years.  Also  in  Spain  the  Gallaic  and  Asturian 
tribes  breed  those  of  the  horse  kind  that  we  call 
1  theldones,'  though  when  more  of  a  pony  type 
they  are  designated  *  cobs ',  which  have  not  the 
usual  paces  in  running  but  a  smooth  trot,  straightening 
the  near  and  off-side  legs  alternately,  from  which  the 
horses  are  taught  by  training  to  adopt  an  ambling 
pace. 

The  horse  has  nearly  the  same  diseases  as  mankind,  Diseases  of 
and  is  also  liable  to  shifting  of  the  bladder,  as  are  thehorse' 
all  beasts  of  the  draft  class. 

LXVIII.  Marcus  Varro  states  that  an  ass  was  4«- 
bought  for  the  senator  Quintus  Axius  at  400,000  *reeding' 
sesterces,&  which  perhaps  beats  the  price  paid  for  any 
other  animal.  The  services  of  the  ass  kind  are  un- 
doubtedly bountiful  in  ploughing  as  well,  but 
especially  in  breeding  mules.  In  mules  also  regard 
is  paid  to  locality  of  origin — in  Greece  the  Arcadian 
breed  is  esteemed  and  in  Italy  the  Reatine.  The 
ass  itself  is  very  bad  at  enduring  cold,  and  con- 
sequently is  not  bred  in  the  Black  Sea  district; 
and  it  is  not  allowed  to  breed  at  the  spring  equinox 
tike  all  other  cattle,  but  at  midsummer.  The  males 
make  worse  sires  when  not  in  work.  The  females 
breed  at  two  and  a  half  years  old  at  earliest,  but 

n) 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

sed  a  trimatu  legitimus:  totidem  quot  equae  et 
isdem  mensibus  et  simili  modo.  sed  incontinens 
uterus  urinam  genitalem  reddit  ni  cogatur  in  cursum 
verberibus  a  coitu.  raro  geminos  parit.  paritura 
lucem  fugit  et  tenebras  quaerit,  ne  conspiciatur  ab 
homine.  gignit  tota  vita,  quae  est  ei  ad  tricensimum 

169  annum,     partus  caritas  summa,  sed  aquarum  tae- 
dium  maius :   per  ignes  ad  fetus  tendunt,  eaedem 
si    rivus    minimus    intersit    horrent    imos1    pedes 
omnino  tinguere.    nee  nisi  adsuetos  potant  fontes 
quae  sunt  in  pecuariis  atque  ita  ut  sicco  tramite  ad 
potum   eant;    nee  pontes  transeunt  pro   raritate 
eorum     tralucentibus     fluviis;      mirumque     dictu, 
sitiunt  et,  si  mutentur  aquae,  ut  bibant  cogendae 
exorandaeve    sunt,    nee    nisi    spatiosa    in    cubitu 
laxitas  tuta;    varia  namque  somno  visa  concipiunt 
ictu  pedum  crebro,  qui  nisi  per  inane  emicuit,  re- 
pulsu  durioris   materiae   clauditatem   ilico   adfert. 

170  quaestus    ex  his  opima  praedia  exuperat :    notum 
est    in    Celtiberia    singulas    quadringentena    milia 
nummum  enixass  mularum  maxume  partu.     aurium 
referre  in  his  et  palpebrarum  piles  aiunt;    quamvis 
enim    unicolor    reliquo    corpore,    totidem    tamen 
colores  quot  ibi  fuere  reddit.    pullos  earum  epulari 
Maecenas  instituit  multum  eo  tempore  praelatos 

1  Detlefsen :  horrentia  ut  (horrent  etiam)  Mayhoff. 

a  See  note  on  §  167. 
118 


BOOK  VIII.  LXVZII.  168-170 

regularly  from  three;  they  can  breed  as  many 
times  as  mares,  and  in  the  same  months  and  in  a 
similar  way.  But  the  womb  cannot  retain  the 
genital  fluid  but  discharges  it,  unless  the  animal  is 
whipped  into  a  gallop  after  coupling.  It  seldom 
bears  twins.  When  about  to  bear  a  foal  it  shuns^ 
the  sunlight  and  seeks  the  shadow,  so  as  not  to  be 
seen  by  a  human  being.  It  breeds  through  all  its 
lifetime,  which  is  thirty  years.  It  has  a  very  great 
affection  for  its  young,  but  a  greater  dislike  for  water : 
she-asses  will  go  through  fire  to  their  foals ,  but  yet 
if  the  smallest  stream  intervenes  they  are  afraid  of 
merely  wetting  their  hooves.  Those  kept  in  pastures 
will  only  drink  at  springs  they  are  used  to,  and  where 
they  can  get  to  drink  by  a  dry  track ;  and  they  will 
not  go  across  bridges  with  interstices  in  their  structure 
allowing  the  gleam  of  the  river  to  be  seen  through 
them;  and,  surprising  to  say,  they  may  be  thirsty 
and  have  to  be  forced  or  coaxed  to  drink,  if  the  stream 
is  not  the  one  they  are  used  to.  Only  a  wide  allow- 
ance of  stall-room  is  safe  for  them  to  lie  down  in, 
for  when  asleep  they  have  a  variety  of  dreams  and 
frequently  let  out  with  their  hooves,  which  at  once 
causes  lameness  by  hitting  timber  that  is  too  hard 
unless  they  have  plenty  of  room  to  kick  in.  The 
profit  made  out  of  she-asses  surpasses  the  richest 
spoils  of  war.  It  is  known  that  in  Celtiberia  their 
foals  have  made  400,000  sesterces0  per  dam, especially 
when  mules  are  bred.  They  say  that  in  she-asses 
the  hair  of  the  ears  and  the  eye-feds  is  an  important 
point,  for  although  the  rest  of  the  dam's  body  is  all 
one  colour,  the  foal  reproduces  all  the  colours  that 
were  in  those  places.  Maecenas  set  the  fashion 
of  eating  donkey  foals  at  banquets,  and  they  were 

119 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

onagris ;   post  eum  interiit  auctoritas  saporis  asino. 
moriente  visu l  celerrime  id  genus  deficit. 

171  LXIX.  Ex  asino  et  equa  mula  gignitur  mense 
xiii,  animal  viribus  in  labores  eximium.     ad  tales 
partus  equas  neque  quadrimis  minores  neque  de- 
cennibus  maiores  legunt.    arcerique  utrumque  genus 
ab  altero  narrant  nisi  in  infantia  eius  generis  quod 
ineat  lacte  hausto;   quapropter  subreptos  pullos  in 
tenebris  equarum  uberi  asinarumve  eculeos  admo- 
vent.    gignitur  autem  mula  et 2  ex  equo  et  asina, 
sed  effrenis  et  tarditatis  indomitae.lenta  omnia  et 3  e 

172  vetulis.    conceptum  ex   equo    secutus  asini  coitus 
abortu  perimit,  non  item  ex  asino  equi.     feminas  a 
partu  optime  septimo  die  impleri  observatum,  mares 
fatigatos   melius   implere.     quae   non  prius    quam 
dentes    quos   pullinos    appellant   iaciat    conceperit 
sterilis  esse4  intellegitur,  et  quae  non  primo  initu 
generare    coeperit.    equo   et  asina  genitos  mares 
hinnulos   antiqui  vocabant,   contraque  mulos   quos 

173  asini  et  equae  generarent.     observatum  ex  duobus 
diversis  generibus  nata  tertii  generis  fieri  et  neutri 
parentium  esse  similia,  eaque  ipsa  quae  sunt  ita 
nata  non  gignere  in  omni  animalium  genere ;  idcirco 
mulas  non  parere.     est  in  annalibus  nostris  peperisse 

1  v.l.  viso.  2  et  add-  Detlefsen. 

3  Mayhoff :  omnia  esse,  .          *  esse  add.  RacJcham. 

a  A  variant  text  gives  '  but  after  his  time  this  delicacy  went 
out  of  favour.  Animals  of  this  genus  very  quickly  flag  when 
they  have  seen  a  dying  donkey.' 

120 


BOOK  VIII.  LXVIII.  lyo-LXix.  173 

much  preferred  to  wild  asses  at  that  period;  but 
after  his  time  the  ass  lost  favour  as  a  delicacy. 
Animals  of  this  genus  very  quickly  flag  when  their 
sight  begins  to  go.a 

LXIX.  A  mare  coupled  with  an  ass  after  twelve 
months  bears  a  mule,  an  animal  of  exceptional 
strength  for  agricultural  operations.  To  breed 
mules  they  choose  mares  not  less  than  four  or  more 
than  ten  years  old.  Also  breeders  say  that  females 
of  either  genus  refuse  stallions  of  the  other  one  unless 
as  foals  they  were  suckled  by  females  of  the  same 
genus  as  the  stallions  ;  for  this  reason  they  stealthily 
remove  the  foals  in  the  dark  and  put  them  to  mares' 
or  she-asses'  udders  respectively.  But  a  mule  is 
also  got  by  a  horse  out  of  an  ass,  though  it  is 
unmanageable,  slow  and  obstinate.  Also  all  the 
foals  from  old  mares  are  sluggish.  It  causes  mis- 
carriage for  a  mare  in  foal  by  a  horse  to  be  put 
to  an  ass,  but  not  vice  versa.  It  has  been  observed 
that  female  asses  are  best  coupled  six  days  after  they 
have  borne  a  foal,  and  that  males  couple  better  when 
tired.  It  is  noticed  that  a  female  that  does  not 
conceive  before  she  casts  what  are  called  her  milk- 
teeth  is  barren,  as  is  one  that  does  not  begin  to 
produce  foals  from  the  first  coupling.  Male  foals 
of  an  ass  by  a  horse  were  in  old  days  called  ninnies, 
while  the  term  mules  was  used  for  the  foals  of  a  mare 
by  an  ass.  It  has  been  noticed  that  the  offspring  of 
two  different  races  of  animals  belong  to  a  third  kind 
and  resemble  neither  parent  ;  and  that  such  hybrids 
are  not  themselves  fertile  :  this  is  the  case  with  all 
kinds  of  animals,  and  is  the  reason  why  mules  are 
barren.  A  number  of  cases  of  reproduction  by  cases  of 
mules  are  recorded  in  our  Annals,  but  these 


121 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

saepe,  verum  prodigii  loco  habitum.  Theophrastus 
vulgo  parere  in  Cappadocia  tradit,  sed  esse  id  animal 
ibi  sui  generis,  mulae  calcitratus  inhibetur  vini 

174  crebriore  potu.     in  plurium   Graecorum  est  monu- 
mentis  cum  equa  muli  coitu  natum  quod  vocaverint 
ginnum,    id    est   parvum   mulum.    generantur   ex 
equa  et  onagris  mansuefactis  mulae  veloces  in  cursu, 
duritia    eximia    pedum,    verum    strigoso    corpore, 
indomito   animo.    sed  generator  onagro   et   asina 
genitus    omnes    antecellit.    onagri   in   Phrygia    et 
Lycaonia  praecipui.    pullis  eorum  ceu  praestantibus 
sapore   Africa   gloriatur,    quos   lalisiones    appellat. 

175  mulum    LXXX    annis    vixisse    Atheniensium    moni- 
mentis  apparet;    gavisi  namque,  cum  templum  in 
arce  facerent,  quod  derelictus  senecta  scandentia 
iumenta  comitatu  nisuque  exhortaretur,  decretum 
fecere  ne  frumentarii  negotiatores  ab  incerniculis 
eum  arcerent. 

176  LXX.  Bubus  Indicis  camelorum  altitudo  traditur, 
cornua    in    latitudinem    quaternorum    pedum.    in 
nostro  orbe  Epiroticis  laus  maxima  a  Pyrrhi,  ut 
feruntj  iam  inde  regis  cura.    id  consecutus  est  non 
ante  quadrimatum  ad  partus  vocando ;  praegrandes 
itaque  fuere  et  hodieque  reliquiae  stirpium  durant. 
at  nunc  anniculae  fecunditatemposcuntur,  tolerantius 
tamen  bimae,  tauri  generationem  quadrimi.    inplent 

0  The  Axni-buffalo, 

122 


BOOK  VIII.  LXIX.  173-LXx.  176 

considered  portentous.  Theophrastus  states  that 
mules  breed  commonly  in  Cappadocia,  but  that  the 
Cappadocian  mule  is  a  peculiar  species.  A  mule 
can  be  checked  from  kicking  by  rather  frequent 
drinks  of  wine.  It  is  stated  in  the  records  of  a  good 
many  Greeks  that  a  foal  has  been  got  from  a  mare 
coupled  with  a  mule,  called  a  ginnus,  which  means 
a  small  mule.  She-mules  bred  from  a  mare  and 
tamed  wild-asses  are  swift  in  pace  and  have  ex- 
tremely hard  hooves,  but  a  lean  body  and  an  indomit- 
able spirit.  But  as  a  sire  the  foal  of  a  wild-ass  and  a 
domestic  she-ass  excels  all  others.  The  wild-asses 
in  Phrygia  and  Lycaonia  are  pre-eminent.  Africa 
boasts  of  their  foals  as  an  outstanding  table  delicacy ; 
the  vernacular  word  for  them  is  lalisio.  Records  at 
Athens  attest  a  mule's  having  lived  80  years;  for 
the  citizens  were  so  delighted  because  after  it  had 
been  put  aside  owing  to  old  age  it  encouraged  the 
teams  by  its  company  and  assistance  in  their  uphill 
work  during  the  construction  of  a  temple  on  the 
citadel,  that  they  made  a  decree  that  the  corn-dealers 
were  not  to  keep  it  away  from  their  stands. 

LXX,  Indian  oxena  are  reported  to  be  as  tall  as  oxen, 
camels  and  to  have  horns  with  a  span  of  four  feet.  mrielies  °f: 
In  our  part  of  the  world  the  most  famous  are  those 
of  Epirus,  having  been  so,  it  is  said,  ever  since  the 
attention  given  to  them  by  King  Pyrrhus.    Pyrrhus 
achieved  this  result  by  not  requisitioning  them  for 
breeding  before  the  age  of  four ;  consequently  his 
oxen  were  very  large,  and  the  remains  of  his  breeds 
continue  even  to-day.    But  now  yearling  heifers  Deeding  and 
are  called  upon  for  breeding,  though  they  can  &******?  of. 
stand  it  better  at  two  years,  while  bulls  are  made 
to  serve  at  four.    Each  bull  serves  ten  cows  in  the 

123 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

singuli  denas  eodem  anno,    tradunt,  si  a  coitu  in 
dexteram  partem   abeant  tauri,   generates   mares 

177  esse,  si  in  laevam,  feminas.    conceptio  uno  initu 
peragitur,  quae   si   forte  pererravit,  xx  post  diem 
mar  em  femina  repetit.    pariunt  mense  x ;  quicquid 
ante  genitum  inutile  est.    sunt  auctores  ipso  com- 
plente    decumum    mensem    die    parere.    gignunt 
raro  geminos.    coitus  a  delphini  exortu  a.  d.  pr. 
non.     lanuarias  diebus  triginta,  aliquis  et  autumno, 
gentibus  quidem  quae  lacte  vivunt  it  a  dispensatus 
ut    omni    tempore    anni    supersit    id    alimentum. 

178  tauri   non   saepius    quam   bis    die   ineunt.     boves 
animalium  soli  et  retro  ambulantes  pascuntur,  apud 
Garamantas  quidem  haut   aliter.    vita  feminis  xv 
annis  longissima,  maribus  xx;   robur  in  quinquen- 
natu.    lavatione  calidae  aquae  traduntur  pinguescere, 
et  si  quis  incisa  cute  spiritum  harundine  in  viscera 

179  adigat.    non    degeneres   existimandi   etiam  minus 
laudato   aspectu:    plurimum  lactis  Alpinis   quibus 
minimum   corporis,   plurimum   laboris    capite   non 
cervice    iunctis.    Syriacis    non    sunt   palearia    sed 
gibber  in  dorso.     Carici  quoque  in  parte  Asiae  foedi 
visu   tub  ere   super   armos   a   cervicibus    eminent  e, 
luxatis   cornibus,   excellentes   in   opere   narrantur, 
cetero  nigri  coloris  candidive  ad  laborem  damnantur ; 
tauris    minor  a    quam    bubus    cornua    tenuioraque. 

180  domitura  bourn  in  trimatu,  postea  sera,  ante  prae- 


124 


BOOK  VIII.  LXX.  176-180 

same  year.  It  is  said  that  if  the  bulls  after  coupling 
go  away  towards  the  right  hand  side  the  offspring 
will  be  males,  and  if  towards  the  left,  females. 
Conception  is  effected  by  one  coupling,  and  if  this 
happens  to  miss,  the  female  goes  to  a  male  again 
twenty  days  after.  They  bear  the  calf  in  the  tenth 
month;  one  produced  before  is  of  no  use.  Some 
authorities  say  that  they  bear  on  the  actual  last  day 
of  the  tenth  month.  They  rarely  produce  twins. 
Coupling  takes  place  in  the  thirty  days  following 
the  rise  of  the  Dolphin  on  January  4,  and  occasionally 
in  the  autumn  also,  though  nations  that  live  on  milk 
spread  it  out  so  that  there  may  be  a  supply  of  this 
nutriment  at  every  season  of  the  year.  Bulls  do 
not  couple  more  than  twice  in  one  day.  Oxen  are 
the  only  animals  that  graze  even  while  walking 
backward;  indeed  among  the  Garamantes  that  is 
their  only  way  of  grazing.  The  longest  life  of  a  cow 
is  15  years  and  of  a  bull  20 ;  they  grow  to  full  strength 
at  5.  Washing  in  hot  water  is  said  to  fatten  them, 
and  also  cutting  a  hole  in  the  hide  and  blowing  air 
into  the  flesh  with  a  reed.  Even  the  breeds  less 
praised  for  their  appearance  are  not  to  be  deemed 
inferior :  the  Alpine  cows  which  are  the  smallest  in 
size  give  most  milk,  and  do  most  work,  although  they 
are  yoked  by  the  head  and  not  the  neck.  Syrian 
oxen  have  no  dewlaps,  but  a  hump  on  the  back. 
Also  the  Carian  breed  in  a  district  of  Asia  is  said  to 
be  ugly  in  appearance,  with  a  swelling  that  projects 
from  the  neck  over  the  shoulders  and  with  the  horns 
displaced,  but  excellent  in  work — although  when  black 
and  white  in  colour  they  are  said  to  be  no  good  for 
ploughing ;  the  bulls  have  smaller  and  thinner  horns 
than  the  cows.  Oxen  should  be  broken  when  three 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

matura;  optume  cum  domito  iuvencus  inbuitur. 
socium  enim  laboris  agrique  culturae  habemus  hoc 
animal,  tantae  apud  priores  curae  ut  sit  inter  exempla 
damnatus  a  p.  R.  die  dicta  qui  concubino  procaci 
rure  omassum  edisse  se  negante  occiderat  bovem, 
actusque  in  exilium  tamquam  colono  suo  interempto. 

181  Tauris  in  aspectu  generositas,  torva  fronte,  auribus 
saetosis,   cornibus   in  procinctu   dimicationem   po- 
scentibus ;  sed  tota  comminatio  prioribus  in  pedibus : 
stat  ira   gliscente   alternos   replicans   spargensque 
in  alvum  harenam,  et  solus  animalium  eo  stimulo 

182  ardescens.    vidimus  ex  imperio  dimicantes  et  ideo 
monstratos l  rotari,  cornibus  cadentes  excipi  iterum- 
que  resurgere,2  modo  iacentes  ex  humo  tolli,  bigarum- 
que    etiam    cursu 3  citato  velut    aurigas    insist  ere. 
Thessalorum  gentis  inventum  est  equo  iuxta  quad- 
ripedante    cornu    intorta    cervice    tauros    necare; 
primus  id  spectaculum  dedit  Romae  Caesar  dictator. 

183  hinc  victimae  opimae  et  lautissima  deorum  placatio. 
huic  tantum  animali  omnium  quibus  procerior  cauda 
non  statim  nato  consummatae  ut  ceteris  mensurae ; 
crescit  uni  donee  ad  vestigia  ima  perveniat.     quam- 
obrem  victimarum  probatio  in  vitulo  ut  articulum 

1  v.L  demonstrates  (et  iocose  demonstrates  Mayhoff). 

2  Vidg.  regere. 

3  Gronovius ;  curru. 

a  45  B.C. 
126 


BOOK  VIII.  LXX,  180-183 

years  old ;  ^fter  that  is  too  late  and  before  too  early ; 
the  best  way  to  train  a  young  bullock  is  to  yoke  it 
with  one  already  broken  in.  For  we  possess  in 
this  animal  a  partner  in  labour  and  in  husbandry, 
held  in  such  esteem  with  our  predecessors  that 
among  our  records  of  punishments  there  is  a  case  of 
a  man  who  was  indicted  for  having  killed  an  ox 
because  a  wanton  young  companion  said  he  had 
never  eaten  bullock's  tripe,  and  was  convicted  by 
the  public  court  and  sent  into  exile  just  as  though 
he  had  murdered  his  farm-labourer. 

Bulls  have  a  noble  appearance,  a  grim  brow,  bristly 
ears,  and  horns  bared  for  action  and  asking  for  a 
figfyt ;  but  their  chief  threat  is  in  their  fore  feet :  a 
bull  stands  glowing  with  wrath,  bending  back  either 
fore  foot  in  turn  and  splashing  up  the  sand  against 
his  belly — it  is  the  only  animal  that  goads  itself  into 
a  passion  by  these  means.  We  have  seen  bulls, 
when  fighting  a  duel  under  orders  and  on  show  for 
the  purpose,  being  whirled  round  and  caught  on 
the  horns  as  they  fall  and  afterwards  rise  again, 
and  then  when  lying  down  be  lifted  off  the  ground, 
and  even  stand  in  a  car  like  charioteers  with  a  pair 
of  horses  racing  at  full  speed.  It  is  a  device  of 
the  Thessalian  race  to  kill  bulls  by  galloping  a  horse 
beside  them  and  twisting  back  the  neck  by  the  horn ; 
the  dictator  Caesar  first  gavea  this  show  at  Rome. 
The  bull  supplies  costly  victims  and  the  most  sump-  Bulls  for 
tuous  appeasement  of  the  gods.  In  this  animal  sacn^M- 
only  of  all  that  have  a  comparatively  long  tail,  the 
tail  is  not  of  the  proper  size  from  birth,  as  it  is  in 
the  others ;  and  with  it  alone  the  tail  grows  till  it 
reaches  right  down  to  the  feet.  Consequently  the 
test  of  victims  for  sacrifice  in  the  case  of  a  calf  is 

127 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

suffraginis  contingat:  breviore  non  litant.  hoc 
quoque  notatum,  vitulos  ad  aras  umeris  hominis 
adlatos  non  fere  litari,1  sicut  nee  claudicante  nee 
aliena  hostia  deos  placari  nee  trahente  se  ab  aris. 
est  frequens  in  prodigiis  priscorum  bovem  locutum, 
quo  nuntiato  senatum  sub  diu  haberi  solitum. 

184  LXXI.  Bos  in  Aegypto  etiam  numinis  vice  colitur ; 
Apin  vocant.    insigne  ei  in  dextro  latere  candicans 
macula  cornibus  lunae  crescere  incipientis,  nodus 
sub  lingua  quern  cantharum  appellant,    non  est  fas 
eum  certos  vitae   excedere  annos,  mersumque  in 
sacerdotum  fonte  necant  quaesituri  luctu  alium  quern 
substituant,   et   donee  invenerint  maerent   derasis 
etiam  capitibus.    nee  tamen  umquam  diu  quaeritur. 

185  inventus    deducitur    Memphim   a   sacerdotibus    c. 
delubra  ei  gemma,  quae  vocant  thalamos,  auguria 
populorum:    alterum  intrasse  laetum  est,  in  altero 
dira    portendit.    responsa    privatis    dat    e    manu 
consulentium  cibum  capiendo;    Germanici  Caesaris 
manum  aversatus   est  haut  multo  postea  extincti. 
cetero  secretus,  cum  se  proripuit  in  coetus,  incedit 
submotu  lictorum,  gregesque  puerorum  comitantur 
cannen  honori  eius  canentium;   intellegere  videtur 

i  litari  ?  Brotier  :  litare. 


«  A.D.  49,  in  Egypt.    His  murder  was  attributed  to  Piso, 
legate  of  Syria. 

128 


BOOK  VIII.  LXX.  i83-LXxi.  185 

that  the  tail  must  reach  the  joint  of  the  hock;  if 
it  is  shorter  the  offering  is  not  acceptable.  It  has 
also  been  noted  that  calves  are  not  usually  acceptable 
if  carried  to  the  altars  on  a  man's  shoulders,  and  also 
that  the  gods  are  not  propitiated  if  the  victim  is 
lame  or  is  not  of  the  appropriate  sort,  or  if  it  drags 
itself  away  from  the  altar.  It  frequently  occurs 
among  the  prodigies  of  old  times  that  an  ox  spoke, 
and  when  this  was  reported  it  was  customary  for  a 
meeting  of  the  senate  to  be  held  in  the  open  air. 

LXXI.  In  Egypt  an  ox  is  even  worshipped  in 
place  of  a  god;  its  name  is  Apis.  Its  distinguishing 
mark  is  a  bright  white  spot  in  the  shape  of  a  crescent 
on  the  right  flank,  and  it  has  a  knob  under  the  tongue 
which  they  call  a  beetle.  It  is  not  lawful  for  it  to 
exceed  a  certain  number  of  years  of  life,  and  they 
kill  it  by  drowning  it  in  the  fountain  of  the  priests, 
proceeding  with  lamentation  to  look  for  another  to 
put  in  its  place,  and  they  go  on  mourning  till  they  have 
found  one,  actually  shaving  the  hair  off  their  heads. 
Nevertheless  the  search  never  continues  long. 
When  the  successor  is  found  it  is  led  by  100  priests 
to  Memphis.  It  has  a  pair  of  shrines,  which  they 
call  its  bedchambers,  that  supply  the  nations 
with  auguries ;  when  it  enters  one  this  is  a  joyful 
sign,  but  in  the  other  one  it  portends  terrible  events. 
It  gives  answers  to  private  individuals  by  taking 
food  out  of  the  hand  of  those  who  consult  it;  it 
turned  away  from  the  hand  of  Germanicus  Caesar, 
who  was  made  away  with  not  long  after.*  Usually 
living  in  retirement,  when  it  sallies  forth  into 
assemblies  it  proceeds  with  lictors  to  clear  the  way, 
and  companies  of  boys  escort  it  singing  a  song  in  its 
honour ;  it  seems  to  understand,  and  to  desire  to  be 

129 
VOL.  m.  K 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

et  adorari  velle.    hi  greges  repente  lymphati  futura 

186  praecinunt.    femina  bos  ei  semel  anno  ostenditur, 
suis  et  ipsa  insignibus,  quamquam  aliis;  semperque 
eodem   die   et  inveniri  earn  et   extingui  tradunt. 
Memphi  est  locus  in  Nilo  quern  a  figura  vocant 
Phialam  ;  omnibus  annis  ibi  auream  pateram  argen- 
teamque  mergunt  iis1  diebus  quos  habent  natales 
Apis,     septem  hi  sunt;    mirumque    neminem  per 
eos   a   crocodilis   attingi,   octavo   post   horam   diei 
sextam  redire  beluae  feritatem. 

187  LXXII.  Magna  et  pecori  gratia  vel  in  placamentis 
deorum  vel  in  usu  velleram.    ut  boves  victiun  ho- 
minum  excolunt  ita  corporum  tutela  pecori  debetur. 
generatio  bimis  utrimque  ad  novenos  annos,  qui- 
busdam  et  ad  x.  primiparis  minores  fetus,    coitus 
omnibus  ab  arcturi  occasu,  id  est  a.  d.  in  idus  Maias 
ad  aquilae  occasum  x  kal.  Aug.  ;    gerunt  partum 
diebus  CL.    postea  concept!  invalidi;  cordos  voca- 
bant  antiqui  post  id  tempus  natos.    multi  hibernos 
agnos   praeferunt   vernis,   quoniam   magis   intersit 
ante   solstitium    quam   ante   brumam   firmos    esse 

188  solumque  toe  animal  utiliter  bruma  nasci.    arieti 
naturale  agnas  fastidire,  senectam  ovium  consectari  ; 
et    jpse    melior  senecta,   rnutilus   quoque   utilior. 


,130 


BOOK  VIII.  LXXI.  iSs-Lxxn.  188 

worshipped.  These  companies  are  suddenly  seized 
with  frenzy  and  chant  prophecies  of  future  events. 
Once  a  year  a  cow  is  displayed  to  it,  she  too  with  her 
decorations,  although  they  are  not  the  same  as  his ; 
and  it  is  traditional  for  her  always  to  be  found  and 
put  to  death  on  the  same  day.  At  Memphis  there 
is  a  place  in  the  Nile  which  from  its  shape  they  call 
the  Goblet;  every  year  they  throw  into  the  river 
there  a  gold  and  a  silver  cup  on  the  days  which  they 
keep  as  the  birthdays  of  Apis.  These  are  seven; 
and  it  is  a  remarkable  fact  that  during  these  days 
nobody  is  attacked  by  crocodiles,  but  that  after 
midday  on  the  eighth  day  the  creature's  savagery 
returns. 

LXXII.  Sheep  are  also  of  great  service  either  skeepr 
in  respect  of  propitiatory  offerings  to  the  gods  or  ree  wg' 
in  the  use  of  their  fleeces.  As  oxen  improve  men's 
diet,  so  the  protection  of  their  bodies  is  owed 
to  sheep.  They  breed  when  two  years  old  on  both 
sides,  till  the  age  of  nine,  and  in  some  cases  even  till 
ten.  The  lambs  at  the  first  birth  are  smaller.  They 
all  couple  from  the  setting  of  Arcturus,  that  is  May 
13th,  to  the  setting  of  Aquila,  July  23rd;  they 
carry  their  lambs  150  days.  Lambs  conceived 
after  the  date  mentioned  are  weak ;  in  old  days  those 
born  later  were  called  cordi.  Many  people  prefer 
winter  lambs  to  spring  ones,  holding  that  it  is  more 
important  for  them  to  be  well-established  before 
midsummer  than  before  midwinter,  and  that  this 
animal  alone  is  advantageously  born  in  winter.  It 
is  inbred  in  the  ram  to  despise  lambs  as  mates  and 
to  desire  maturity  in  sheep ;,  and  the  ram  himself  is 
better  in  old  age,  and  also  *aore  serviceable  when 
polled.  His  wildness  is  restrained  by  boring  a  hole 

131 

K2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

ferocia  eius  cohibetur  cornu  iuxta  aurem  terebrata. 
dextro  teste  praeligato  feminas  generat,  laevo 
mares,  tonitrua  solitariis  ovibus  abortus  inferunt; 
remedium  est  congregare  eas,  ut  coetu  iuventur. 

189  aquilonis  flatu  mares  concipi  dicunt,  austri  feminas ; 
atque  in  eo  genere  arietum  maxime  spectantur  ora, 
quia  cuius  coloris  sub  lingua  habuere  venas  eius  et 
lanicium  in  fetu  est,  variumque,  si  plures  fuere.     et 
mutatio  aquarum  potusque  variat. 

Ovium  summa  genera  duo,  tectum  et  colonicum, 
illud  mollius,  hoc  in  pascuo  delicatius,  quippe  cum 
tectum 1  rubis  vescatur.2  operimenta  eis  ex  Arabicis 
praecipue. 

190  LXXIIL  Lana    autem    laudatissima    Apula    et 
quae  in  Italia  Graeci  pecoris  appellatur,  alibi  Italica. 
tertium    locum    Milesiae    oves    optinent.     Apulae 
breves  villo  nee  nisi  paenulis  celebres ;  circa  Tarentum 
Canusiumque     summam    nobilitatem    habent,    in 
Asia  vero  eodem  genere  Laudiceae.    alba  Circum- 
padanis  nulla  praefertur,  nee  libra  centenos  nummos 

]  91  ad  hoc  aevi  excessit  ulla.  oves  non  ubique  tondentur, 
durat  quibusdam  in  locis  vellendi  mos.  colorum 
plura  genera,  quippe  cum  desint  etiam  nomina 
eis  quas  nativas  appellant  aliquot  modis :  Hispania 

1  JSrotier :  quippe  contectum. 

2  quippe  non  tectum  rubis  vexatur  MayJioff. 

*  A  conjectural  reading  gives  c  in  fact  not  being  jacketed 
they  are  troubled  by  brambles.' 

*  Say  12  shillings. 

'132 


BOOK  VIIL  LXXII.  i88-Lxxm.  191 

in  the  horn  close  to  the  ear.  If  a  ligature  is  put 
on  the  right  testicle  he  gets  females  and  if  on  the 
left  males.  Claps  of  thunder  cause  sheep  to  miscarry 
when  solitary ;  the  remedy  is  to  herd  them  in  flocks, 
so  as  to  be  cheered  by  company.  They  say  that  male 
lambs  are  got  when  a  north  wind  is  blowing  and  female 
when  a  south;  and  in  this  breed  the  greatest 
attention  is  given  to  the  mouths  of  the  rams,  as  the 
wool  in  the  case  of  the  progeny  is  of  the  colour  of 
the  veins  under  the  tongue  of  the  parent  ram,  and 
if  these  were  of  several  colours  the  lamb  is  vari- 
coloured. Also  changing  the  water  they  drink  varies 
their  colour. 

There  are  two  principal  breeds  of  sheep,  jacketed 
sheep  and  farm  sheep ;  the  former  are  softer  and 
the  latter  more  delicate  in  their  pasture,  inasmuch  as 
the  jacketed  sheep  feeds  on  brambles.0  The  best 
jackets  for  them  are  made  of  Arabian  sheep's  wool. 

LXXII  I.  The  most  highly  esteemed  wool  is  the  varieties 
Apulian  and  the  kind  that  is  called  in  Italy  wool  of^Two 
the  Greek  breed  and  elsewhere  Italian  wool.  The 
third  place  is  held  by  the  sheep  of  Miletus.  The 
Apulian  fleeces  are  short  in  the  hair,  and  not  of  great 
repute  except  for  cloaks;  they  have  a  very  high 
reputation  in  the  districts  of  Taranto  and  Canossa, 
as  have  the  Laodicean  fleeces  of  the  same  breed  in 
Asia.  No  white  fleece  is  valued  above  that  from 
the  district  of  the  Po,  and  none  has  hitherto  gone 
beyond  the  price  of  100  sesterces 6  a  pound.  Sheep 
are  not  shorn  everywhere — in  some  places  the 
practice  survives  of  plucking  off  the  wool.  There 
are  several  sorts  of  colour,  in  fact  even  names  are 
lacking  for  the  wools  which  are  variously  designated 
after  their  places  of  origin :  Spain  has  the  principal 

133 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

nigri  velleris  praecipuas  habet,  Pollentia  iuxta 
Alpes  card,  Asia  rutili  quas  Erythraeas  vocant, 
item  Baetica,  Canusium  fulvi,  Tarentum  et  suae 
pulliginis.  sucidis  omnibus  medicata  vis.  Histriae 
Liburniaque  pilo  propior  quam  lanae,  pexis  aliena 
vestibus,  et  quam  Salacia  scutulato  textu  commendat 
in  Lusitania.  similis  circa  Piscinas  provinciae  Nar- 
bonensis,  similis  et  in  Aegypto,  ex  qua  vestis  de- 
trita  usu  pingitur  rursusque  aevo  durat.  est  et 
hirtae  pilo  crasso  in  tapetis  antiquissima  gratia: 
iam  certe  priscos 1  iis  usos  Homer  us  auctor  est. 
aliter  haec  Galli  pingunt,  aliter  Parthorum  gentes. 

192  lanae  et  per  se  coactae  vestem  faciunt  et,  si  addatur 
acetum,  etiam  ferro  resistunt,  immo  vero   etiam 
ignibus   novissimo   sui  purgamento.     quippe   aenis 
polientium    extract  a    in    tomenti    usum    veniunt, 
Galliarum,    ut    arbitror,   invento:     certe    Gallicis 

193  hodie    nominibus    discernitur.    nee   facile    dixerim 
qua  id  aetate  coeperit ;   antiquis  enim  torus  e  stra- 
mento  erat,  qualiter  etiam  nunc  in  castris,    gau- 
sapae   patris   mei   memoria  coepere,    amphimallia 
nostra,  sicut  villosa  etiam  ventralia;    nam  tunica 
lati  clavi  in  modum  gausapae  texi  nunc  primum 
incipit.     lanarum    nigrae  nullum  colorem  bibunt; 
de  reliquarum  infectu  suis  locis  dicemus  in  conchyliis 
maris  aut  herbarum  natura. 

1  priscos  om,  v.l. 

«  Odyssey  4.  298  'AA/aWi?  8e  Tcwn?ra  fepev  uaAa/<ro0  ept 
et  passim. 

b  IX  c.  62.  «  XXI  c.  12. 

134 


BOOK  VIII.  Lxxm.  191-193 

black  wool  fleeces,  Pollentia  near  the  Alps  white, 
Asia  the  red  fleeces  that  they  call  Erythrean, 
Baetica  the  same,  Canossa  tawny,  Taranto  also  a  dark 
colour  of  its  own.  All  fresh  fleeces  have  a  medicinal 
property.  Istrian  and  Liburnian  fleece  is  nearer  to  hair 
than  wool,  and  not  suitable  for  garments  with  a  soft 
nap ;  and  the  same  applies  to  the  fleece  that  Salacia 
in  Lusitania  advertises  by  its  check  pattern.  There 
is  a  similar  wool  in  the  district  of  the  Fishponds  in  the 
province  of  Narbonne,  and  also  in  Egypt,  which  is 
used  for  darning  clothes  worn  by  use  and  making 
them  last  again  for  a  long  period.  Also  the  coarse 
hair  of  a  shaggy  fleece  has  a  very  ancient  popularity 
in  carpets :  Homer  a  is  evidence  that  they  were  un- 
doubtedly in  use  even  in  very  early  times.  Different 
methods  of  dyeing  these  fleeces  are  practised  by  the 
Gauls  and  by  the  Parthian  races.  Self-felted  fleeces 
make  clothing,  and  also  if  vinegar  is  added  withstand 
even  steel,  nay  more  even  fire,  the  latest  method 
of  cleaning  them.  In  fact  fleeces  drawn  from,  the 
coppers  of  the  polishers  serve  as  stuffing  for  cushions, 
I  believe  by  a  French  invention :  at  all  events  at  the 
present  day  it  is  classified  under  Gallic  names.  And 
I  could  not  easily  say  at  what  period  this  began ;  for 
people  in  old  times  had  bedding  of  straw,  in  the  same 
way  as  in  camp  now.  Frieze  cloaks  began  within  my 
father's  memory  and  cloaks  with  hair  on  both  sides 
within  my  own,  as  also  shaggy  body-belts ;  moreover 
weaving  a  broad-striped  tunic  after  the  manner  of  a 
frieze  cloak  is  coming  in  for  the  first  time  now. 
Black  fleeces  will  not  take  dye  of  any  colour;  we 
will  discuss  the  dyeing  of  the  other  sorts  in  their 
proper  places  under  the  head  of  marine  shellfish  & 
or  the  nature Jof  various  plants. c 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

194  LXXIV.  Lanam  in  colo  et  fuso  Tanaquilis,  quae 
eadem   Gala  Caecilia  vocata  est,  in  templo  Sanci 
durasse  prodente  se  auctor  est  M.  Varro,  factamque 
ab  ea  togam  regiam  undulatam  in  aede  Fortunae, 
qua    Ser.    Tullius    fuerat    usus.    inde    factum    ut 
nubentes  virgines  comitaretur  colus  compta  et  fusus 
cum   stamine.     ea   prima   texuit   rectam   tunicam, 
qualis  cum  toga  pura  tirones  induuntur  novaeque 

195  nuptae.     undulata    vestis    prima    e    laudatissimis 
fuit ;  inde  sororiculata  defluxit.     togas  rasas  Phryxia- 
nasque  divi  Augusti  novissimis  temporibus  coepisse 
scribit  Fenestella.    crebrae  papaveratae  antiquiorem 
habent  originem  iam  ab  Lucilio  poeta  in  Torquato 
notatae.    praetextae  apud  Etruscos  originem  inve- 
nere.    trabeis  usos  accipio  reges ;  pictae  vestes  iam 
apud  Homerum  sunt  iis,  et  inde  I  triumphales  natae. 

196  acu  facere  id  Phryges  invenerunt,  ideoque  Phrygio- 
niae   appellatae   sunt.     aurum  intexere   in   eadem 
Asia  invenit  Attalus   rex,   unde  nomen  Attalicis. 
colores  diversos  picturae  intexere  Babylon  maxume 
celebravit  et  nomen  inposuit.    plurimis  vero  liciis 
texere  quae  polymita  appellant  Alexandria  instituit, 
scutulis  dividere  Gallia.     Metellus  Scipio  tricliniaria 
Babylonica  sestertium  octingentis  milibus   venisse 
iam    tune    ponit    in    Capitonis 2    criminibus,    quae 

1  Mayhoff :  Homerum  fuisse  unde. 

2  Caesareus :  Catonis. 

a  For  the  use  of  poppy-stem  fibre  mixed  with  flax  in  weav- 
ing, to  give  gloss,  see  XIX  21. 

6  Helen  embroiders  one  with  battle  scenes,  Od.  3.  125. 

136 


BOOK  VIII.  LXXIV.  194-196 

LXXIV.  Marcus  Varro  informs  us,  on  his  own 
authority,  that  the  wool  on  the  distaff  and  spindle  o 
Tanaquil  (who  was  also  called  Gaia  Caecilia)  was  still  <&««£• 
preserved  in  the  temple  of  Sancus ;  and  also  in  the 
shrine  of  Fortune  a  pleated  royal  robe  made  by  her, 
which  had  been  worn  by  Servius  Tullius.  Hence 
arose  the  practice  that  maidens  at  their  marriage  were 
accompanied  by  a  decorated  distaff  and  a  spindle  with 
thread.  Tanaquil  first  wove  a  straight  tunic  of  the 
kind  that  novices  wear  with  the  plain  white  toga, 
and  newly  married  brides.  The  pleated  robe  was 
the  first  among  those  most  in  favour ;  consequently 
the  spotted  robe  went  out  of  fashion.  Fenestella 
writes  that  togas  of  smooth  cloth  and  of  Phryxian 
wool  began  in  the  latest  times  of  the  late  lamented 
Augustus .  Togas  of  closely  woven  poppy-cloth  have a 
an  older  source,  being  noticed  as  far  back  as  the  poet 
Lucilius  in  the  case  of  Torquatus.  Bordered  robes 
found  their  origin  with  the  Etruscans.  I  find  it 
recorded  that  striped  robes  were  worn  by  the  kings, 
and  they  had  embroidered  robes  as  far  back  as 
Homer,6  these  being  the  origin  of  those  worn  in 
triumphs.  Embroidering  with  the  needle  was  dis- 
covered by  the  Phrygians,  and  consequently  em- 
broidered robes  are  called  Phrygian.  Gold  em- 
broidery was  also  invented  in  Asia,  by  King  Attalus, 
from  whom  Attalic  robes  got  their  name.  Weaving 
different  colours  into  a  pattern  was  chiefly  brought 
into  vogue  by  Babylon,  which  gave  its  name  to  this 
process.  But  the  fabric  called  damask  woven  with 
a  number  of  threads  was  introduced  by  Alexandria, 
and  check  patterns  by  Gaul.  Metellus  Scipio 
counts  it  among  the  charges  against  Capito  that 
Babylonian  coverlets  were  already  then  sold  for 

137 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTQBY 

Neroni  principi  quadragiens  sestertio  nuper  stetere. 

197  Servi  Tulli  praetextae  quibus  signum  Fortunae  ab 
eo    dicatae    coopertum    erat,    duravere    ad   Seiani 
exitum,  mirumque  fuit  neque  diffluxisse  eas  neque 
teredinum  ininrias  sensisse  annis  quingentis  sexa- 
ginta.     vidimus  iam  et  viventium l  vellera  purpura, 
cocco,  conchylio,  sesquipedalibus  libris  2  infect  a,  velut 
ilia  sic  nasci  cogente  luxuria. 

198  LXXV.  In  ipsa  ove  satis  generositatis  ostenditur 
brevitate  crurum,  ventris  vestitu.3    quibus  nudus 
esset  apicas  vocabant  damnabantque.     Syriae  cu- 
bitales   ovium   caudae,  plurimumque  in   ea  parte 
lanicii.     castrari  agnos  nisi  quinquemenstres  prae- 
maturum  existimatur. 

199  Est  in  Hispania,  sed  maxime  Corsica,  non  absimile 
pecori  genus  musmonum  caprino  villo  quam  pecoris 
velleri  propius,  quorum  e  genere  et  ovibus  natos 
prisci    Umbros    vocaverunt,    innrmissimum    pecori 
caput,  quamobrem  aversum  a  sole  pasci  cogendum. 
quam  stultissima  animalium  lanata:    qua  timuere 
ingredi,  unum  cornu  raptum  sequuntur.   vita  longis- 
sima  anni  x9  in  Aethiopia  xin ;  capris  eodem  loco  xi, 
in  reliquo  orbe  plurimum  octoni.     utrumque  genus 
intra  quartum  coitum  impletur. 

200  LXXVL  Caprae  pariunt  et  quaternos,  sed  raro 
admodum;     ferunt   v   mensibus,    ut    oves.     capri 

1  v.l.  bidentum, 

2  v.L  s.  labris  (sesquilibris  Gronovius). 

3  vJ.  vestitus. 

*  Over  £7000  gold.  6  A.D.  31. 

0  A  variant  gives  "  even  of  sheep.* 

d  The   word.s   omitted,    *  with   eighteen   inch   scales '   or 
'  pounds,'  have  not  been  satisfactorily  explained  or  emended. 

138 


BOOK  VIII.  LXXIV.  196-Lxxvi,  200 

800,000  sesterces/2  which  lately  cost  the  Emperor 
Nero  4,000,000.  The  state  robes  of  Servius  Tullius, 
with  which  the  statue  of  Fortune  dedicated  by 
him  was  draped,  lasted  till  the  death 6  of  Sejamis,  and 
it  was  remarkable  that  they  had  not  rotted  away 
or  suffered  damage  from  moths  in  560  years.  We 
have  before  now  seen  the  fleeces  even  of  living 
animals  c  dyed  with  purple,  scarlet,  crimson  .  .  ./ 
as  though  luxury  forced  them  to  be  born  like  that. 

LXXV.  In  the  sheep  itself  breed  is  sufficiently 
shown  by  shortness  of  the  legs  and  a  well-clothed 
belly.  Sheep  with  the  belly  bare  used  to  be  called 
'  misfits ' e  and  turned  down.  The  sheep  of  Syria  have 
tails  18  inches  long,  and  a  great  deal  of  wool  on  that 
part.  It  is  considered  too  soon  for  lambs  to  be  gelt 
unless  five  months  old. 

In  Spain,  but  particularly  in  Corsica,  there  is  an 
animal  not  unlike  the  sheep,  the  moufflon,  with  hair 
nearer  the  goat's  than  the  sheep's;  these  when 
crossed  with  sheep  produce  what  in  old  days  were 
called  Umbrians.  Sheep  are  very  weak  in  the 
head,  and  consequently  must  be  made  to  graze  with 
their  backs  to  the  sun.  The  fleecy  sheep  is  the 
stupidest  of  animals ;  if  afraid  to  go  into  a  place  they 
will  follow  one  of  the  flock  that  is  taken  by  the  horn. 
Their  longest  term  of  life  is  10  years,  in  Ethiopia  13; 
goats  in  Ethiopia  live  11  years,  but  in  other  parts  of 
the  world  at  most  eight.  In  breeding  with  either 
kind  to  couple  three  times  at  most  is  sufficient. 

LXXVI.  Goats  bear  as  many  as  four  kids  at  once, 
but  rather  seldom;  they  carry  their  young  for 
5  months,  like  sheep.  He-goats  are  made  sterile  by  soots. 


6  From  aTrciKtus,  Lewis  and  Short ;  or  perhaps  more  prob- 
ably *  apicas  '  (ITOKOS,  weKta)  £  without  fleece.' 

139 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

pinguitudine  sterilescunt.  ante  trimos 1  minus  uti- 
liter  generant  et  in  senecta,  nee  ultra  quadriennium. 
incipiunt  septimo  mense  et  adhuc  lact antes,  mu- 
tilum  in  utroque  sexu  utilius.  primus  in  die  coitus 
non  implet,  sequens  efficacior  ac  deinde.  conci- 
piunt  Novembri  mense  ut  Martio  pariant  turgescen- 
tibus  virgultis,  aliquando  anniculae,  semper  bimae, 
nisi  trimae  vix  utiles.2  pariunt  octonis  annis. 

201  abortus    frigori    obnoxius.     oculos    suffusos    capra 
iunci  punctu  sanguine  exorierat,  caper  rubi.     soller- 
tiam   eius  animalis  Mucianus  vis  am  sibi  prodidit, 
in  ponte  praetenui  duabus  obviis  e  diverso  cum 
circumactum  angustiae  non  caperent  nee  reciproca- 
tionem  longitudo  in  exilitate  caeca,3  torrente  rapido 
minaciter  subterfluente,  alteram  decubuisse  atque 

202  ita  alteram  proculcatae  supergressam.    mares  quam 
maxime   simos,  longis   auribus  infractisque,   armis 
quam  villosissimis  probant.    feminarum  generositatis 
insigne  laciniae  corporibus  e  cervice  binae  depend- 
entes ;  non  omnibus  cornua,  sed  quibus  sunt,  in  his 
et    indicia    annorum    per    incrementa    nodorum; 
mutilis  lactis  maior  ubertas;    auribus  eas  spirare, 
non  naribus,  nee  umquam  febri  carere  Archelaus 
auctor  est;    ideo  fortassis  anima  his  quam  ovibus 

203  ardentior    calidioresque    concubitus.     tradunt     et 
noctu  non  minus  cernere  quam  interdiu,  et  ideo, 

1  ante  trinos  annos  ?  Mayhoff. 
55  Maylioff?  :  bimae,  in  trimatu  inutiles. 
3  caecam  ?  Rackham. 
140 


BOOK  VIII.  LXXVI.  200-203 

over-fattening.  They  are  not  very  useful  as  sires  till 
three  years  old,  nor  in  old  age,  and  they  do  not  serve 
for  more  than  four  years.  They  begin  when  six 
months  old  and  before  they  are  weaned.  Both 
sexes  breed  better  with  the  horns  removed.  The 
first  coupling  in  the  day  has  no  result,  but  the 
following  and  subsequent  ones  are  more  effectual. 
She-goats  conceive  in  November  so  as  to  bear  kids 
in  March  when  the  bushes  are  budding — yearlings 
sometimes  and  two-year-olds  always,  but  they  are 
not  of  much  use  for  breeding  unless  three  years  old. 
They  go  on  bearing  for  eight  years.  They  are  liable 
to  miscarriage  from  cold.  A  she-goat  cures  its  eyes 
when  bloodshot  by  pricking  them  on  a  rush,  he-goats 
on  a  bramble.  Mucianus  has  described  a  case  of 
this  animal's  cleverness  seen  by  himself — two  goats 
coming  in  opposite  directions  met  on  a  very  narrow 
bridge,  and  as  the  narrow  space  did  not  permit  them 
to  turn  round  and  the  length  did  not  allow  of  backing 
blindly  on  the  scanty  passageway  with  a  rushing 
torrent  flowing  threateningly  below,  one  of  them  lay 
down  and  so  the  other  one  passed  over,  treading  on  top 
of  it.  People  admire  he-goats  that  are  as  snub-nosed 
as  possible,  with  long  drooping  ears  and  extremely 
shaggy  flanks.  It  is  a  mark  of  good  breeding  in  she- 
goats  to  have  two  dewlaps  hanging  down  from  the 
neck ;  not  all  have  horns,  but  in  those  that  have  there 
are  also  indications  of  their  years  furnished  by  the 
growths  of  the  knobs ;  they  give  more  milk  when 
without  horns ;  according  to  Archelaus  they  breathe 
through  the  ears,  not  the  nostrils,  and  are  never  free 
from  fever :  this  is  perhaps  the  reason  why  they  are 
more  high-spirited  than  sheep  and  hotter  in  coupling. 
It  is  said  that  goats  can  see  by  night  as  well  as  they 

141 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

si  caprinum  iecur  vescantur,  restitui  vespertinam 
aciem  iis  quos  nyctalopas  vocant.  in  Cilicia  circaque 
Syrtes  villo  tonsili  vestiuntur.  capras  in  occasum 
declini  sole  in  pascuis  negant  contueri  inter  sese  sed 
aversas  iacere,  reliquis  autem  horis  adversas  et  inter 
se  cognationes.  dependet  omnium  mento  villus 

204  quern  aruncum  vocant.    hoc  si  quis  adprehensam  ex 
grege   unam   trahat,   ceterae   stupentes   spectant; 
id  etiam  evenit  et  l  cum  quandam  herbam  aliqua 
ex    eis    momorderit.     morsus    earum    arbori    est 
exitialis  ;  olivam  lambendo  quoque  sterilem  faciunt, 
eaque  ex  causa  Minervae  non  immolantur. 

205  LXXVII.  Suilli  pecoris  admissura  a  favonio   ad 
aequinoctium  vernum,  aetas  octavo  mense,  quibus- 
dam  in  locis  etiam  quarto,  usque  ad  octavum  annum, 
partus  bis  in  anno,  tempus  utero  quattuor  mensum,' 
numerus  fecunditati  ad  vicenos,  sed  educare  neque- 
unt  tarn  multos.    diebus  x  circa  brumam  statim 
dentatos  nasci  Nigidius  tradit.    implentur  uno  coitu, 
qui   et   geminatur   propter   facilitatem    aboriendi; 
remedium  ne  prima  subatione  neque  ante  flaccidas 

206  aures  coitus  fiat:,    mares  non  ultra  trimatum  gene- 
rant.    feminae  senectute  fessae  cubantes  coeunt; 
comesse  fetus  in  2  his  non  est  prodigium.     suis  fetus 
sacrificio   die    quinto    purus    est,  pecoris    die  vu, 
bovis  xxx.      Coruncanius   ruminalis    hostias    donee 


1  Mayhoff:  evenire. 

2  in  add. 


142 


BOOK  VIII.  LXXVI.  203-LXxvn.  206 

can  in  the  daytime,  and  that  consequently  a  diet  of 
goat's  liver  restores  twilight  sight  to  persons  suffering 
from  what  is  called  night-blindness.  In  Cilicia  and 
the  Syrtes  region  people  wear  clothes  made  of  hair 
shorn  from  goats.  They  say  that  she-goats  in  the 
pastures  when  the  sun  is  setting  do  not  look  at  one 
another  but  lie  down  with  their  backs  to  each  other, 
though  at  other  times  of  the  day  they  lie  facing  each 
other  and  take  notice  of  one  another.  From  the 
chin  of  all  goats  hangs  a  tuft  of  hair  called  their 
beard.  If  you  grasp  a  she-goat  by  this  and  drag  her 
out  of  the  herd  the  others  look  on  in  amazement ; 
this  also  happens  as  well  when  one  of  them  nibbles  a 
particular  plant.  Their  bite  kills  a  tree ;  they  make 
an  olive  tree  barren  even  by  licking  it,  and  for  this 
reason  they  are  not  offered  in  sacrifice  to  Minerva. 

LXXVII.  Swine  are  allowed  to  breed  from  the 
beginning  of  spring  to  the  vernal  equinox,  beginning 
at  seven  months  old  and  in  some  places  even  at  three 
months,  and  continuing  to  their  eighth  year.  Sows 
bear  twice  a  year,  carrying  their  pigs  four  months : 
litters  number  up  to  20,  but  sows  cannot  rear  so 
many.  Nigidius  states  that  for  ten  days  at  mid- 
winter pigs  are  born  with  the  teeth  already  grown. 
Sows  are  impregnated  by  one  coupling,  which  is  also 
repeated  because  they  are  so  liable  to  abortion; 
the  remedy  is  not  to  allow  coupling  at  the  first  heat 
or  before  the  ears  are  pendulous.  Hogs  cannot 
serve  when  over  three  years  old.  Sows  exhausted 
by  age  couple  lying  down ;  it  is  nothing  out  of  the 
way  for  them  to  eat  their  litter.  A  pig  is  suitable  for 
sacrifice  four  days  after  birth,  a  lamb  in  a  week  and  a 
calf  in  ai  month.  Coruncamus  asserted  that  ruminant 
animals  are  not  acceptable  as  victims,  before  they  gs&w 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

bidentes  fierent  pur  as  negavit.  suem  oculo  amisso 
putant  cito  extingui,  alioqui  vita  ad  xv  annos,  qui- 
busdam  et  vicenos ;  verum  efferantur,  et  alias  obno- 
xium  genus  morbis,  anginae  maxime  et  strumae. 

207  index  suis  invalidae  cruor  in  radice  saetae  dorso 
evolsae,  caput  obliquom  in  incessu.    paenuriam  lac- 
tis  praepingues  sentiunt ;   et  primo  fetu  minus  sunt 
numerosae.    in  luto  volutatio  generi  grata,    intorta 
cauda ;  id  etiam  notatum,  facilius  litare  in  dexterum 
quam  in  laevum  detorta.    pinguescunt  LX  diebus, 
sed  magis  tridui  media  saginatione  orsa.    animalium 
hoc  maxime  brutum,  animamque  ei  pro  sale  datam 

208  non    inlepide    existimabatur.    conpertum    agnitam 
vocem  suarii  furto  abactis,  mersoque  navigio  inclina- 
tione  lateris  unius  renasse.1     quin  et  duces  in  urbe 
forum  nundinarium  domosque  petere  discunt;    et 
feri  sapiunt  vestigia  palude  confundere,  urina  fugam 

209  levare.     castrantur£feminae|sic  quoque  uti  et  cameli 
post  bidui  inediam  suspensae  pernis  prioribus  vulva 
recisa;    celerius  ita  pinguescunt,     adhibetur  et  ars 
iecori    feminarum    sicut    anserum,   invent um    M. 
Apici,  fico  arida  saginatis,  a  satie  necatis  repente 

1  Hackham:  remeasse. 

0  The  two  projecting  teeth  in  the  lower  jaw  which  give  their 
name  to  the  species. 

6  To  keep  it  from  putrefaction :   Cicero  N.D.  II  160  attri- 
butes this  to  Chrysippus. 
144 


BOOK  VIIL  LXXVII.  206-209 

their  front  teeth  .a  It  is  thought  that  a  sow  that  loses 
an  eye  soon  dies,  but  that  otherwise  sows  live  to 
fifteen  and  in  some  cases  even  twenty  years ;  but 
they  become  savage,  and  in  any  case  the  breed  is 
liable  to  diseases,  especially  quinsy  and  scrofula. 
Symptoms  of  bad  health  in  a  sow  are  when  blood 
is  found  on  the  root  of  a  bristle  pulled  out  of  its 
back  and  when  it  holds  its  head  on  one  side  in 
walking.  If  too  fat  they  experience  lack  of  milk; 
and  they  have  a  smaller  number  of  pigs  in  their 
first  litter.  The  breed  likes  wallowing  in  mud. 
The  tail  is  curly ;  also  it  has  been  noticed  that  it 
is  easier  to  kill  them  for  sacrifice  when  the  tail 
curls  to  the  right  than  when  to  the  left.  They  take 
60  days  to  fatten,  but  fatten  better  if  feeding  up 
is  preceded  by  three  days'  fast.  The  pig  is  the 
most  brutish  of  animals,  and  there  used  to  be  a 
not  unattractive  idea  that  its  soul  was  given  it  to 
serve  as  salt.&  It  is  a  known  fact  that  some  pigs 
carried  off  by  thieves  recognized  the  voice  of  their 
swineherd,  crowded  to  one  side  of  the  ship  till  it 
capsized  and  sank,  and  swam  back  to  shore.  More- 
over the  leaders  of  a  herd  in  the  city  learn  to  go 
to  the  market  place  and  to  find  their  way  home; 
and  wild  hogs  know  how  to  obliterate  their  tracks 
by  crossing  marshy  ground,  and  to  r eh* eve  them- 
selves when  running  away  by  making  water.  Sows 
are  spayed  in  the  same  way  as  also  camels  are,  by 
being  hung  up  by  the  fore  legs  after  two  days 
without  food  and  having  the  matrix  cut  out;  this 
makes  them  fatten  quicker.  There  is  also  a  method 
of  treating  the  liver  of  sows  as  of  geese,  a  discovery 
of  Marcus  Apicius — they  are  stuffed  with  dried  fig, 
and  when  full  killed  directly  after  having  been 

T45 

VOL.  III.  I- 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

mulsi  potu  dato.  neque  alio  ex  animali  numerosior 
materia  ganeae:  quinquaginta  prope  sapores,  cum 
ceteris  singuli.  hinc  censoriarum  legum  paginae, 
interdictaque  cenis  abdomina,  glandia,  testiculi, 
vulvae,  sincipita  verrina,  ut  tamen  Publi  mimorum 
poetae  cena  postquam  servitutem  exuerat  nulla 
memoretur  sine  abdomine,  etiam  vocabulo  suminis 
ab  eo  inposito. 

210  LXXVIII.  Placuere  autem  et  feri  sues,  iam 
Catonis  censoris  orationes  aprunum  exprobrant 
callum.  in  tres  tamen  partes  diviso  media  pone- 
batur,  lumbus  aprunus  appellata.  solidum  aprum 
Romanorum  primus  in  epulis  adposuit  P.  Servilius 
Rullus,  pater  eius  Rulli  qui  Ciceronis  in  consulatu 
legem  agrariam  promulgavit :  tarn  propinqua  origo 
nunc  cotidianae  rei  est;  et  hoc  annales  notarunt, 
horum  scilicet  ad  emendationem  morum,  quibus 
non  tota  quidem  cena  sed  in  principle  bini  ternique 
pariter  manduntur  apri. 

211  Vivaria  eorum  ceterarumque  silvestrium  primus 
togati  generis   invenit   Fulvius   Lippinus :    is x  in 
Tarquiniensi  feras  pascere  instituit;    nee  diu  imi- 
tatores  defuere  L.  Lucullus  et  Q.  Hortensius. 

212  Sues  ferae  semel  anno  gignunt.    maribus  in  coitu 
plurima  asperitas ;  tune  inter  se  dimicant  indurantes 


1  is  add.  ?  Mayhoff. 
a  184  B.C.  &  63  B.C. 


146 


BOOK  VIII.  LXXVII,  209-LXxvm.  212 

given  a  drink  of  mead.  Nor  does  any  animal  supply 
a  larger  number  of  materials  for  an  eating-house : 
they  have  almost  fifty  flavours,  whereas  all  other 
meats  have  one  each.  Hence  pages  of  sumptuary 
laws,  and  the  prohibition  of  hog's  paunches,  sweet- 
breads, testicles,  matrix  and  cheeks  for  banquets, 
although  nevertheless  no  dinner  of  the  pantomime 
writer  Publius  after  he  had  obtained  his  freedom  is 
recorded  that  did  not  include  paunch — he  actually 
got  from  this  the  nickname  of  Pig's  Paunch. 

LXXVIII.  But  also  wild  boar  has  been  a  popular  Boar's  meat. 
luxury.  As  far  back  as  Cato  the  Censor  a  we  find  his 
speeches  denouncing  boar's  meat  bacon.  Neverthe- 
less a  boar  used  to  be  cut  up  into  three  parts  and  the 
middle  part  served  at  table,  under  the  name  of  boar's 
loin.  Publius  Servilius  Rullus,  father  of  the  Bullus 
who  brought  in  the  land  settlement  act  during 
Cicero's  consulship,6  first  served  a  boar  whole  at  his 
banquets — so  recent  is  the  origin  of  what  is  now  an 
everyday  affair ;  and  this  occurrence  has  been  noted 
by  historians,  presumably  for  the  improvement  of 
the  manners  of  the  present  day,  when  it  is  the 
fashion  for  two  or  three  boars  to  be  devoured  at 
one  time  not  even  as  a  whole  dinner  but  as  the 
first  course. 

Fulvius  Lippinus  was  the  first  person  of  Roman  Game- 
nationality  who  invented  preserves  for  wild  pigs  and  Preservcs' 
the  other  kinds  of  game :  he  introduced  keeping  wild 
animals  in  the  district  of  Tarquinii ;  and  he  did  not 
long  lack  imitators,  Lucius  Lucullus  and  Quintus 
Hortensius. 

Wild  pigs  breed  once  a  year.  The  boars  are  very 
rough  when  mating;  at  this  period  they  fight  each 
other,  hardening  their  flanks  by  rubbing  against 

147 

L2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

adtritu  arborum  costas  lutoque  se  a  tergo  stercor- 
antes.1  feminae  in  partu  asperiores,  et  fere  similiter 
in  omni  genere  bestiarum.  apris  maribus  nonnisi 
anniculis  generatio.  in  India  cubit  ales  dentium 
flexus ;  gemini  ita 2  ex  rostro,  totidem  a  fronte  ceu 
vituli  cornua  exeunt,  pilus  aereo  similis  agrestibus, 
ceteris  niger.  at  in  Arabia  suillum  genus  non  vivit. 

213  LXXIX.     In   nullo    alio 3   genere    aeque    facilis 
mixtura  cum  fero,  qualiter  natos  antiqui  hybridas 
vocabant  ceu  semiferos,  ad  homines  quoque  ut  C. 
Antonium  Ciceronis  in  consulatu  collegam  appella- 
tione  tralata.    non  in  suibus  autem  tantum  sed  in 
omnibus   quoque   animalibus  cuiuscumque   generis 
ullum  est  placidum  eiusdem  invenitur  et  ferum, 
utpote  cum  hominum  etiam  silvestrium  tot  genera 

214  praedicfca  sint.    caprae  tamen  in  j>lurimas  simili- 
tudines   transfigurantur :    sunt  caprae,  sunt  rupi- 
caprae,  sunt  ibices  pernicitatis  mirandae,  quamquam 
onerato  capite  vastis  cornibus  gladiorum  ceu  vaginis ; 
in  haec  se  Hbrat  ut  tormento  aliquo  rotatus,  in 
petris  4  potissimum  e  monte  alio  5  in  alium  transilire 
quaerens,    atque    recusu e    pernicius    quo    libuerit 
exult  at.    sunt  et  oryges,  soli  a 7  quibusdam  dicti 
contrario  pilo  vestiri  et  ad  caput  verso,  sunt  et 
dammae  et  pygargi  et  strepsicerotes  multaque  alia 

1  MayJioff :  se  tergorantes.  2  Mayhoff :  gemina. 

3  alio  add.  JRackham.  4  Rackham  :  petras. 

6  Raclckam  :  aliquo.  6  v.l.  recussu. 

7  a  add.  Rackkam. 


°  63  B.C. 

6  The  allusion  of  his  surname  Hybrida  is  uncertain;  per- 
haps his  mother  was  of  foreign  descent. 
c  I.e.  the  goat,  chamois  and  ibex  above. 

148 


BOOK  VIII.  LXXVIII.  2i2-LXxix.  214 

trees  and  plastering  their  behinds  with  mud.  The 
females  are  fiercer  when  with  young,  and  this  is  more 
or  less  the  same  in  every  kind  of  wild  animal.  Male 
boars  do  not  mate  till  one  year  old.  In  India  they 
have  curved  tusks  18  in.  long :  two  project  from  the 
jaw,  and  two  from  the  forehead  like  a  calf's  horns. 
The  wild  boar's  hair  is  a  sort  of  copper  colour ;  that 
of  the  other  species  is  black.  But  the  hog  genus  does 
not  occur  in  Arabia. 

LXXIX.  In  the  case  of  no  other  kind  of  animal  is  wm 
it  so  easy  to  cross  with  the  wild  variety ;  the  offspring 
of  such  unions  in  old  days  were  called  '  hybrids/  species. 
meaning  half-wild,  a  term  also  applied  as  a  nickname 
to  human  beings,  for  instance,  to  Cicero's  colleague  in 
the  consulship,®  Gaius  Antonius.&  But  not  only  in  pigs 
but  in  all  animals  as  well  whenever  there  is  any  tame 
variety  of  a  genus  there  is  also  found  a  wild  one  of  the 
same  genus,  inasmuch  as  even  in  the  case  of  man  an 
equal  number  of  savage  races  have  been  predicted 
to  exist.  Nevertheless  the  formation  of  the  goat  is 
transferred  to  a  very  large  number  of  similar  species : 
there  are  the  goat,  the  chamois  and  the  ibex — an 
animal  of  marvellous  speed,  although  its  head  is 
burdened  with  enormous  horns  resembling  the 
sheaths  of  swords,  towards  which  it  sways  itself  as 
though  whirled  with  a  sort  of  catapult,  chiefly  when 
on  rocks  and  seeking  to  leap  from  one  crag  to  another, 
and  by  means  of  the  recoil  leaps  out  more  nimbly 
to  the  point  to  which  it  wants  to  get.  There  are 
also  the  oryx,  the  only  species  according  to  certain 
authorities  clothed  with  hair  lying  the  wrong  way, 
towards  the  head,  and  the  antelope,  the  white-rumped 
antelope,  the  twisted-horn  antelope  and  a  great 
many  other  not  dissimilar  species.  fiut  the  former0 

149 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

haut  dissimilia.    sed  ilia  Alpes,  haec  transmarini 
situs  mittunt. 

215  LXXX.  Simiarum  quoque  genera1  hominis  figu- 
rae   proxima   caudis   inter   se   distinguntur.    mira 
sollertia :    visco  inungui,  laqueisque  calciari  imita- 
tione  venantium  tradunt,  Mucianus  et  latrunculis 
lusisse,  fictas  cera  nuces  visu  distinguere,  lima  cava 
tristes  esse  quibus  in  eo  genere  cauda  sit,  novain, 
exultatione    adorari:     nam    defectum   siderum    et 

216  ceterae  pavent  quadripedes.    simiarum  generi  prae- 
cipua  erga  fetum  adfectio.    gestant  catulos  quae 
mansuefactae  intra  domes  peperere.  omnibus  demon- 
strant  tractarique  gaudent,  gratulationem  intelle- 
gentibus  similes;    itaque  magna  ex  parte  conplec- 
tendo  necant.    efFeratior  cynocephalis  natura  sicut 
mitissima2  satyris.    callitriches  toto  paene  aspectu 
diiFerunt :  barba  est  in  facie,  cauda  late  fusa  primori 
parte.     hoc  animal  negatur  vivere  in   alio   quam 
Aethiopiae  quo  gignitur  caelo. 

217  LXXXL  Et  leporum  plura  sunt  genera,    in  Alpi- 
bus  candidi  quos 3  hibernis  mensibus  pro   cibatu 
nivem  credunt  esse — certe  liquescente  ea  rutilescunt 
annis   omnibus — et   est  alioqui   animal   intolerandi 
rigoris  alumnum.     leporum  generis   sunt   et   quos 


1  genera  <plura>  Mayhoff. 

2  Edd. :  miarsima  (v.L  om.). 

3  Rackham :  quibus. 


0  Perhaps  the  cmrang-outang,  which  comes  from  Borneo. 
J  The  semnopiihecus,  or  perhaps  the  -cercopithecus. 

150 


BOOK  VIII.  LXXIX.  214-LXXxi.  217 

we  receive  from  the  Alps,  the  latter  from  places 
across  the  sea. 

LXXX.  The  kinds  of  apes  also  which  are  closest  to  Varieties  of 
the  human  shape  are  distinguished  from  each  other  &uafe" 
by    the    tails.     They   are   marvellously   cunning: 
people  say  that  they  use  bird-lime  as  ointment, 
and  that  they  put  on  the  nooses  set  to  snare  them  as 
if  they  were  shoes,  in  imitation  of  the  hunters; 
according  to  Mucianus  the  tailed  species  have  even 
been  known  to  play  at  draughts,  are  able  to  dis- 
tinguish at  a  glance  sham  nuts  made  of  wax,  and 
are  depressed  by  the  moon  waning  and  worship  the 
new  moon  with  delight :  and  it  is  a  fact  that  the  other 
four-footed  animals  also  are  frightened  by  eclipses. 
The  genus  ape  has  a  remarkable  affection  for  its 
young.    Tame  monkeys  kept  in  the  house  who  bear 
young  ones  carry  them  about  and  show  them  to 
everybody,  and  delight  in  having  them  stroked, 
looking  as  if  they  understood  that  they  are  being 
congratulated;  and  as  a  consequence  in  a  consider- 
able number  of  cases  they  kill  their  babies  by  hugging 
them.    The  baboon  is  of  a  fiercer  nature,  just  as 
the   satyrusa  is   extremely   gentle.    The   pretty- 
haired  ape  6  is  almost  entirely  different  in  appear- 
ance :  it  has  a  bearded  face  and  a  tail  flattened  out 
wide  at  the  base.    This  animal  is  said  to  be  unable 
to  live  in  any  other  climate  but  that  of  its  native 
country,  Ethiopia.    • 

LXXXI.  There  are  also  several  kinds  of  hare.  The  hare  and 
In  the  Alps  there  are  white  hares,  which  are  believed theram- 
to  eat  snow  for  their  fodder  in  the  winter  months — 
at  all  events  they  turn  a  reddish  colour  every  year 
when  the  snow  melts — and  in  other  ways  the  animal 
is  a  nurseling  of  the  intolerable  cold.    The  animals  in 

151 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

Hispania  cuniculos  appellat,  fecunditatis  innumerae 
famemque  Baliarum  insulis  populatis  messibus 
adferentes.  fetus  ventri  exectos  vel  uberibus  abla- 
tos  non  repurgatis  interaneis  gratissimo  in  cibatu 

218  habent :     laurices    vocant.    certum    est    Baliaricos 
adversus  proventum  eorum  auxilium  militare  a  divo 
Augusto    petisse.    magna    propter    venatum    eum 
viverris  gratia  est:   iniciunt  eas  in  specus  qui  sunt 
multifores  in  terra  (unde  et  nomen  animali)  atque 
ita  eiectos  superne  capiunt.    Archelaus  auctor  est 
quot  sint  corporis  cavernae  ad  excrementa  lepori 
totidem  annos  esse  aetatis:    varius  certe  numerus 
reperitur.    idem  utramque  vim  singulis  inesse  ac  sine 

219  mare    aeque   gignere.    benigna   circa   hoc   natura 
innocua  et  esculenta  animalia  fecunda  generavit. 
lepus  omnium  praedae  nascens  solus  praeter  dasypo- 
dem  superfetat,  aliud  educans,  aliud  in  utero  pilis 
vestitum,   aliud  inplume,   aliud  inchoatum  gerens 
pariter.     nee  non    et  vestes   leporino   pilo   facere 
temptatum  est,  tactu  non  perinde  molli  ut  in  cute, 

220  propter  brevitatem  pili  dilabidas.1 

LXXXII.  Hi  mansuescunt   raro,   cum    feri    dici 
iure  non  possint :  conplura  namque  sunt  nee  placida 

1  v.l.  dilabidam. 


a  Beally  the  etymology  is  the  other  way  round :  cuniculus 
is  from  a  Spanish  word  for  '  rabbit,'  and  from  it  was  formed 
cuniculum  meaning  *  burrow,'  *  tunnel,'  or  '  mine/ 

*  A  variant  reading  gives  *  as  it  is  when  on  the  animal's 
skin  owing  to  the  yielding  nature  of  the  short-haired  fur,* 


BOOK  VIII.  LXXXI.  217-Lxxxii.  220 

Spain  called  rabbits  also  belong  to  the  genus  hare; 
their  fertility  is  beyond  counting,  and  they  bring 
famine  to  the  Balearic  Islands  by  ravaging  the  crops. 
Their  young  cut  out  from  the  mother  before  birth  or 
taken  from  the  teat  are  considered  a  very  great 
delicacy,  served  without  being  gutted ;  the  name  for 
them  is  laurex.  It  is  an  established  fact  that  the 
peoples  of  the  Balearics  petitioned  the  late  lamented 
Augustus  for  military  assistance  against  the  spread 
of  these  animals.  The  ferret  is  extremely  popular 
for  rabbit-hunting;  they  throw  ferrets  into  the 
burrows  with  a  number  of  exits  that  the  rabbits 
tunnel  in  the  ground  (this  is  the  derivation  of  their 
name  '  cony  ' a)  and  so  catch  the  rabbits  when  they 
are  driven  out  to  the  surface.  Archelaus  states  that 
a  hare  is  as  many  years  old  as  it  has  folds  in  the  bowel : 
these  are  certainly  found  to  vary  in  number.  The 
same  authority  says  that  the  hare  is  a  hermaphrodite 
and  reproduces  equally  well  without  a  male.  Nature 
has  shown  her  benevolence  in  making  harmless  and 
edible  breeds  of  animals  prolific.  The  hare  which  is 
born  to  be  all  creatures'  prey  is  the  only  animal 
beside  the  shaggy-footed  rabbit  that  practises  super- 
fetation,  rearing  one  leveret  while  at  the  same  time 
carrying  in  the  womb  another  clothed  with  hair  and 
another  bald  and  another  still  an  embryo.  Also  the 
experiment  has  been  made  of  using  the  fur  of  the 
hare  for  making  clothes,  although  it  is  not  so  soft  to 
the  touch  as  it  is  when  on  the  animal's  skin,  and  the 
garments  soon  come  to  pieces  because  of  the  short- 
ness of  the  hair? 

LXXXII.  Hares  rarely  grow  tame,  although  they  Haif- 
cannot   properly  be  termed  wild  animals — for  in 
fact  there  are  a  good  many  creatures   that   are 

153 


PUNY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

nee  fera,  sed  mediae  inter  utrumque  naturae,  ut 
in  volucribus  hirundines,  apes,1  in  mari  delphini. 

221  quo    in    genere    multi    et    hos    incolas    domuum 
posuere  mures,  haut  spernenduni  in  ostentis  etiam 
publicis  animal:    adrosis   Lanuvi  clipeis   argenteis 
Marsicum  portendere   bellum,   Carboni   imperatori 
apud  Clusium  fasceis  quibus  in  calciatu  utebatur  exi- 
tium.    plura  eorum  genera  in  Cyrenaica  regione, 
alii  lata  fronte,  alii  acuta,  alii  irenaceorum  genere 

222  pungentibus    pilis.     Theophrastus    auctor    est    in 
Gyara  insula  cum  incolas  fugassent,2  ferrum  quoque 
rosisse  eos,  id  quod  natura  quadam  et  ad  Chalybas 
facere  in  ferrariis  officinis ;  aurariis  quidem  in  metallis 
ob  hoc  alvos  eorum  excidi  semperque  furtum  id 
deprehendi,  tantam   esse  dulcedinem  furandi.     ve- 
nisse    murem    cc    denariis 3    Casilmum    obsidente 
Hannibale,  eumque  qui  vendidisset 4  fame  interisse, 

223  emptorem  vixisse,  annales  tradunt,     cum  candidi 
provenere,  laetum  faciunt  ostentum.    nam  sauricum 
occentu  dirimi  auspicia  annales  refertos  habemus. 
saurices  et  ipsos  hi  erne  condi  auctor  est  Nigidius, 
sicut  glires,  quos  censoriae  leges  princepsque  M. 
Scaurus  in  consulatu  non  alio  modo  cenis  ademere 

1  v.l.  aper  (apri  ?  RackJiam)  in  campo. 

2  incolae  fugissent  ?  Rackham. 

3  denariis  add.  Budaeus  e  Val.  Max. 

4  Ratfcham :  vendiderat. 

0  A  variant  gives  *  swallows,  on  the  plain  the  boar.* 

6  The  Social  War,  91-88  B.C. 

c  Carbo  was  defeated  by  Sulla  at  Clusium  in  Etruria,  82  B.C. 
Later  in  the  same  year  he  had  to  fly  to  Africa,  and  was  killed 
there. 

d  One  of  the  Cyclades. 

*  Perhaps  to  be  emended  *  when  the  inhabitants  had  fled,1 

Jt  On  the  Black  Sea. 


BOOK  VIII.  LXXXII.  220-223 

neither  wild  nor  tame  but  of  a  character  inter- 
mediate between  each,  for  instance  among  winged 
things  swallows  and  bees,a  in  the  sea  dolphins. 
Many  people  have  also  placed  in  this  class  these 
denizens  of  our  homes  the  mice,  a  creature  not  to  be 
ignored  among  portents  even  in  regard  to  public 
affairs ;  they  foretold  the  war  &  with  the  Marsians  by 
gnawing  the  silver  shields  at  Lanuvium,  and  the  death 
of  General  Carbo  by  gnawing  at  Chiusi c  the  puttees 
that  he  wore  inside  his  sandals.  There  are  more 
varieties  of  mice  in  the  district  of  Gyrene,  some  with 
broad  and  others  with  pointed  heads,  and  others 
like  hedgehogs  with  prickly  bristles.  Theophrastus 
states  that  on  the  island  of  Chiura  d  when  they  had 
banished  the  inhabitants  e  they  even  gnawed  iron, 
and  that  they  also  do  this  by  a  sort  of  instinct  in  the 
iron  foundries  in  the  country  of  the  Chalybes/: 
indeed,  he  says,  in  gold  mines  because  of  this  their 
bellies  get  cut  away  and  their  theft  of  gold  is  always 
detected,  ff  so  fond  are  they  of  thieving.  The  Public 
Records  relate  that  during  the  siege  h  of  Casilinum  by 
Hannibal  a  mouse  was  sold  for  200  francs,  and  that 
the  man  who  sold  it  died  of  hunger  while  the  buyer 
lived.  The  appearance  of  white  mice  constitutes  a 
joyful  omen.  For  we  have  our  Records  full  of 
instances  of  the  auspices  being  interrupted  i  by  the 
squeaking  of  shrews.  Nigidius  states  that  shrews 
themselves  also  hibernate  as  do  dormice,  which 
sumptuary  legislation  and  Marcus  Scaurus  the 
Head  of  the  State  during  his  consulship  fc  ruled  out 

ff  Or  perhaps  6  their  bellies  are  cut  open  and  some  stolen 
gold  is  always  found.* 

h  216  B.C.,  after  the  battle  of  Cannae. 

*  I.e.  the  squeaking  during  the  taking  of  auspices  was  a 
bad  omen.  *  115  B.C. 

155 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

224  ac  1  conchy lia  aut  ex  alio  orbe  convectas  aves.     semi- 
ferum  et  ipsum  animal,  cui  vivaria  in  doliis  idem  qui 
apris  instituit.     qua  in  re  notatum  non  congregare 
nisi  populares  eiusdem  silvae  et,  si  misceantur  alie- 
nigenae  amne  vel  monte  discreti,  interire  dimicando. 
genitores  suos  fessos  senecta  alunt  insigni  pietate. 
senium  finitur  hiberna  quiete:    conditi  enim  et  hi 
cubant,  rursus  aestate  iuvenescunt.     similis  et  nitelis 
quies  est  hieme.2 

225  LXXXIII.  Hie  mirum  rerum  naturam  non  solum 
alia  aliis  dedisse  terris  animalia  sed  in  eodem  quoque 
situ  quaedam  aliquis  locis  negasse.    in  Maesia  silva 
Italiae  non  nisi  in  parte  reperiuntur  hi  glires.     in 
Lycia  dorcades  non  transeunt  montes  Sexis  vicinos, 
onagri  limit  em  qui  Cappadociam  a  Cilicia  dividit. 
in  Hellespont©  in  alienos  fines  non  commeant  cervi, 
et  circa  Arginusam  Elaphum  montem  non  excedunt, 
auribus  etiam  in  monte  fissis.    in  Pordoselene  insula 

226  viam    mustelae    non    transeunt.    item 3    Boeotiae 
Lebadeae  inlatae  solum  ipsum  fugiunt  quae  iuxta  in 
Orchomeno  tota  arva  subruunt  talpae.     quarum  e 
pellibus  cubicularia  vidimus  stragula :  adeo  ne  religio 
quidem  a  portentis  submovet  delicias.     in  Ithaca 
lepores  inlati  moriuntur  extremis  quidem  in  litori- 

1  ac  add.  Detlefsen. 

2  Mayhoff :  simili  (aut  similis)  et  nitelis  quiete. 

3  Mayhoff:  in. 


«  See  §  211. 

b  Z.e.  the  old  mice  die  off  during  hibernation. 
e  InBtruria. 

d  Aristotle  Hist.  An.  2786  26  cV  S£  TO>  opet  r£>  JEAa<£a>< 
aXov^vo)  .  .  .  lAa^ot  Traaai  TO  ovs  ecr^tcrju/vat  elaiv, 
*  Between  Lesbos  and  the  Asiatic  coast. 


156 


BOOK    VIII.  LXXXII.   223-LXXXIII.   226 

from  banquets  just  as  they  did  shell-fish  or  birds 
imported  from  other  parts  of  the  world.  The  shrew- 
mouse  itself  also  is  a  half-wild  animal,  and  keeping  it 
alive  in  jars  was  originated  by  the  same  person  as 
started  keeping  wild  pigs.a  In  this  connexion  it  has 
been  noticed  that  shrew-mice  do  not  associate  unless 
they  are  natives  of  the  same  forest,  and  if  foreigners 
separated  by  a  river  or  mountain  are  introduced  they 
die  fighting  one  another.  They  feed  their  parents 
when  exhausted  by  old  age  with  remarkable  affection. 
Their  old  age  comes  to  its  end  during  the  winter 
repose & — for  these  creatures  also  hibernate,  and 
renew  their  youth  at  the  coming  of  summer.  Dormice 
hibernate  similarly. 

LXXXIII.  In  this  connexion  it  is  surprising  that  Local disiri- 
Nature  has  not  only  assigned  different  animals  to 
different  countries,  but  has  also  denied  certain 
animals  to  some  places  in  the  same  region.  In  the 
Mesian  forest c  in  Italy  dormice  of  which  we  are  now 
speaking  are  only  found  in  one  part.  In  Lycia  the 
gazelles  do  not  cross  the  mountains  near  the  Sexi, 
nor  the  wild  asses  the  boundary  dividing  Cappadocia 
from  Cilicia.  The  stags  on  the  Hellespont  do  not 
migrate  into  unfamiliar  districts,  and  those  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Arginusa  do  not  go  beyond  Mount 
Elaphus,  even  those  on  the  mountain  having  cleft 
ears.^  In  the  island  of  Pordoselene  *  weasels  do  not 
cross  a  road.  Similarly  in  Boeotia  moles  that  under- 
mine the  whole  of  the  fields  in  Orchomenus  near  by, 
when  imported  into  Lebadea  are  shy  of  the  very  soil. 
We  have  seen  counterpanes  for  beds  made  out  of 
their  skins:  so  powerless  is  even  superstition  to 
protect  the  miraculous  against  luxury.  In  Ithaca 
imported  hares  die  on  the  very  edge  of  the  shore,  as 

157 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

bus,  in  Ebuso  cuniculi,  scatentibus1  iuxta  Hispania 

227  Baliaribusque.    Cyrenis  mutae  fuere  ranae,  inlatis  e 
continente   vocalibus   durat  genus   earum.    mutae 
sunt  etiamnum  in  Seripho  insula,  eaedem  alio  tra- 
latae  canunt,  quod  accidere  et  in  lacu  Thessaliae 
Siccaneo  2  tradunt.    in  Italia  muribus  araneis  vene- 
natus  est  niorsus ;  eosdem  ulterior  Apennino  regio  non 
habet.    iidem  ubicumque  sunt,  orbitam  si  transiere, 
moriuntur.    in  Olympo  Macedoniae  monte  non  sunt 

228  lupi  nee  in  Greta  insula.    ibi  quidem  nee  vulpes  ursive 
atque    omnino   nullum   maleficum   animal   praeter 
phalangium :  in  3  araneis  id  genus  dicemus  suo  loco, 
mirabilius  in  eadem  insula  cervos  praeterquam  in 
Cydoneatarum  regione  non  esse,  item  apros,4  atta- 
genas,  irenaceos,  in  Africa  autem  nee  apros  nee 
cervos  nee  capreas  nee  ursos. 

229  LXXXIV.  lam  quaedam  animalia  indigenis  in- 
noxia  advenas  interimunt,  sicut  serpentes  parvi  in 
Tirynthe  quos  terra  nasci  proditur.     item  in  Syria 
angues  circa  Euphratis  maxime  ripas  dormientes 
Syros  non  adtingunt  aut,  etiamsi  calcati  momordere, 
non  sentiuntur  malefici,5  aliis  cuiuscumque  gentis 
infesti,  avide  et  cum  cruciatu  exanimantes,  quamo- 

1  Mayhoff :  scatent. 

2  Mayhoff  (Adian  OVK  aevaos)  ? :  Sicandro. 
8  in  add.  Mayhoff. 

4  Rackham :   apros  et. 

158 


BOOK  VIII.  LXXXIII.  226-LXxxiv.  229 

do  rabbits  in  Iviza,  although  Spain  and  the  Balearic 
Islands  close  by  are  teeming  with  them,  At  Cyrene 
the  frogs  were  silent,  and  though  croaking  frogs  have 
been  imported  from  the  mainland  the  silent  breed 
goes  on.  Frogs  are  also  silent  in  the  island  of 
Seriphus,  but  the  same  frogs  croak  when  removed 
to  some  other  place,  which  is  also  said  to  happen  in 
the  Siccanean  Lake  in  Thessaly.  The  bite  of  the 
shrew-mouse  in  Italy  is  venomous,  but  the  venomous 
species  is  not  found  in  the  district  beyond  the 
Apennines.  Also  wherever  it  occurs  it  dies  if  it 
crosses  the  track  of  a  wheel.  There  are  no  wolves  on 
Mount  Olympus  in  Macedon,  nor  in  the  island  of 
Crete.  In  fact  in  Crete  there  are  no  wolves  or  bears 
cither,  and  no  noxious  animal  at  all  except  a  poisonous 
spider :  we  shall  speak  of  this  species  in  its  place,a 
under  the  head  of  spiders.  It  is  more  remarkable 
that  in  the  same  island  there  are  no  stags  except  in 
the  district  of  Cydonea,  and  the  same  is  the  case  with 
wild  boars  and  francolins  and  hedgehogs,  while  in 
Africa  there  are  neither  wild  boars  nor  stags  nor  wild 
goats  nor  bears. 

LXXXIV.  Again,  some  animals  harmless  to  natives  Sped 
of  the  country  are  deadly  to  foreigners,  for  instance 
some  small  snakes  at  Tiryns  that  are  said  to  be  bom 
from  the  earth.  Similarly  serpents  in  Syria  specially 
found  about  the  banks  of  the  Euphrates  do  not  touch 
Syrians  when  asleep,  or  even  if  they  bite  them  when 
trodden  on  are  not  felt  to  cause  any  evil  effect,  but 
they  are  maleficent  to  other  people  of  whatever  race, 
killing  them  voraciously  and  with  torturing  pain,  on 

a  XI 79,  XVIII 156. 
5  Mayhoff:  maleficia. 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

brem  et  Syri  non  nee  ant  eos.  contra  in  Latmo 
Cariae  monte  Aristoteles  tradit  a  scorpionibus  hos- 
pites  non  laedi,  indigenas  interim!. 

Sed  reliquorum  quoque  animalium  [et  praeterea  x] 
terrestrium  dicemus  genera. 

1  Sed.  Jan. 


160 


BOOK  VIII.  LXXXIV.  229 

account  of  which  the  Syrians  also  do  not  kill  them. 
On  the  other  hand  Aristotle a  relates  that  the 
scorpions  on  Mount  Latmos  in  Caria  do  not  wound 
strangers  but  kill  natives. 

But  we  will  also  speak  of  the  remaining  kinds  of 
land  animals. 

a  Fr.  605  Rose. 


161 

VOL.  III.  M 


BOOK  IX 


LIBER  IX 

1  I.  ANIMALIUM    quae   terrestria   appellavimus   ho- 
minum     quadam     consortione     degentia     indicata 
natura  est.     ex  reliquis  minimas  esse  volucres  con- 
venit.     quamobrem  prius  aequorum  amnium  stag- 
norumque  dicentur. 

2  Sunt  autem  complura  in  his  maiora  etiam  terrestri- 
bus.     causa  evidens  umoris  luxuria.     alia  sors  alitum 
quibus  vita  pendentibus.    in  mari  autem  tarn  late 
supino  mollique    ac    fertili  nutrimento,   accipiente 
causas  genitales  e  sublimi  semperque  pariente  natura, 
pleraque  etiam  monstrifica  reperiuntur  perplexis  et 
in  semet  aliter  atque  aliter  nunc  flatu  nunc  fluctu 
convolutis  seminibus  atque  principiis,  vera  ut  fiat 
vulgi  opinio  quicquid  nascatur  in  parte  naturae  ulla 
et  in  mari  esse,  praeterque  multa  quae  nusquam 

3  alibi,     rerum  quidem,  non  solum  animalium,  simu- 
lacra   inesse    licet    intellegere    intuentibus    uvam, 
gladium,  serram,1  cucumin  vero  et  colore  et  odore 
similem;    quo   minus   miremur  equorum   capita   in 
tarn  parvis  eminere  cocleis. 

1  Ractiham  i  serras. 
164 


BOOK  IX 

I.  WE  have  indicated  the  nature  of  the  species  that  zoology 
we  have  designated  land  animals,  as  living  in  some  §J!J^  ~~ 
kind  of  association  with  men.    Of  the  remaining  kinds  animals. 
it  is  agreed  that  birds  are  the  smallest.    We  will 
therefore  first  speak  of  the  creatures  of  the  seas, 
rivers  and  ponds. 

There  are  however  a  considerable  number  of  these  Remarkable 
that  are  larger  even  than  land  animals.  The 
obvious  cause  of  this  is  the  lavish  nature  of  liquid, 
Birds,  which  live  hovering  in  the  air,  are  in  a  different 
condition:  But  in  the  sea,  lying  so  widely  outspread 
and  so  yielding  and  productive  of  nutriment,  because 
the  element  receives  generative  causes  from  above 
and  is  always  producing  offspring,  a  great  many 
actual  monstrosities  are  found,  the  seeds  and  first 
principles  intertwining  and  interfolding  with  each 
other  now  in  one  way  and  now  in  another,  now  by  the 
action  of  the  wind  and  now  by  that  of  the  waves,  so 
ratifying  the  common  opinion  that  everything  born 
in  any  department  of  nature  exists  also  in  the  sea, 
as  well  as  a  number  of  things  never  found  elsewhere. 
Indeed  we  may  realize  that  it  contains  likenesses  of 
things  and  not  of  animals  only,  when  we  examine  the 
grape,  the  sword-fish,  the  saw-fish,  and  the  cucumber- 
fish,  the  last  resembling  a  real  cucumber  both  in 
colour  and  scent ;  which  makes  it  le$s  surprising  that 
in  cockle-shells  that  are  so  tiny  there  are  horses' 
heads  projecting. 

3=65 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

4  II.  Plurima  autem  et  maxima  animalia  in  Indico 
mari,  ex  quibus  ballaenae  quaternum  iugerum,  pristes 
ducenum  cubitorum,  quippe  ubi  locustae  quaterna 
cubita  impleant,  anguillae  quoque  in  Gange  amne 

5  tricenos  pedes.     sed  in  mari  beluae  circa  solstitia 
maxime  visuntur.      tune  illic  ruunt  turbines,  tune 
imbres,  tune  deiectae  montium  iugis  procellae  ab 
imo  vertunt  maria  pulsatasque  ex  profundo  beluas 
cum  fluctibus  volvunt  tanta,  ut  x  alias  thynnorum, 
multitudine,  ut  Magni  Alexandri  classis   haut  alio 
modo  quam  hostium  acie  obvia  contrarium  agmen 
adversa  front e  direxerit :    aliter  [sparsis]  2  non  erat 
evadere.     non  voce,   non   sonitu   non   fragore   sed 

6  ictu 3  terrentur,  nee  nisi  ruina  turbantur.     Cadara 
appellatur   Rubri  Maris  paeninsula  ingens;    huius 
obiectu  vastus  efficitur  sinus  xn  dierum  et  noctium 
remigio  enavigatus  Ptolomaeo  regi,  quando  nullius 
aurae  recipit  afflatum.     huius  loci  quiete  praecipue  4 
ad   immobilem   magnitudinem   beluae    adolescunt. 

7  Gedrosos   qui  Arabim   amnem  accolunt  Alexandri 
Magni  classium  praefecti  prodiderunt  in  domibus 
fores  maxillis  beluarum  facere,  ossibus  tecta  contig- 
nare3   ex    quibus    multa    quadragenum    cubitorum 
longitudinis    reperta.     exeunt    et    pecori    similes 

1  Mueller  :  volvunt  et  alias  tanta. 

2  sparsis  an  delendum^  ?  Mueller. 

3  sic  ?  Mueller  :  non  ictu  sed  fragore. 
*  v.l.  praecipua. 

0  The  iuger  was  about  two-thirds  of  an  English  acre,  the 
cukitus  or  ell  about  1£  ft. 

b  This  sailed  from,  the  Indus  to  the  Euphrates,  as  recorded, 
with  all  the  details  given  above,  by  Arrian,  Indica  21-42. 

0  The  MS.  text  inserts  an  explanatory  gloss  '  by  dispersing.' 

166 


BOOK  IX.  ii.  4-7 

II.  But  the  largest  number  of  animals  and  those  whales, 
of  the  largest  size  are  in  the  Indian  sea,  among  them  St^f 
whales  covering  three  acres  each,  and  sharks  100  ells  lar^e  ^*c«». 
longa :  in  fact  in  those  regions  lobsters  grow  to  6  ft. 
long,  and  also  eels  in  the  river  Ganges  to  300  ft.  The 
monsters  in  the  sea  are  mostly  to  be  seen  about 
the  solstices.  At  those  periods  in  that  part  of  the 
world  there  are  rushing  whirlwinds  and  rain-storms 
and  tempests  hurtling  down  from  the  mountain 
ridges  that  upturn  the  seas  from  their  bottom,  and 
roll  with  their  waves  monsters  forced  up  from  the 
depths  in  such  a  multitude,  like  the  shoals  of  tunnies 
in  other  places,  that  the  fleet 6  of  Alexander  the  Great 
deployed  its  column  in  line  of  battle  to  encounter 
them,  in  the  same  way  as  if  an  enemy  force  were 
meeting  it:  it  was  not  possible  to  escape  them  in 
any  other  manner .c  They  are  not  scared  by  shouts  or 
noises  or  uproar,  but  only  by  impact,  and  they  are 
only  routed  by  a  violent  collision.  There  is  an 
enormous  peninsula  in  the  Red  Sea  called  Cadara, 
the  projection  of  which  forms  a  vast  bay  which  took 
King  Ptolemy  twelve  days  and  nights  of  rowing  to 
cross,  as  it  does  not  admit  a  breath  of  wind  from  any 
quarter.  In  this  tranquil  retreat  particularly  the 
creatures  grow  to  a  huge  motionless  bulk.  The 
admirals d  of  the  fleets  of  Alexander  the  Great  have 
stated  that  the  Gedrosi e  who  live  by  the  river  Arabis/ 
make  the  doorways  in  their  houses  out  of  the 
monsters'  jaws  and  use  their  bones  for  roof-beams, 
many  of  them  having  been  found  that  were  60  ft. 
long.  Also  great  creatures  resembling  sheep  come 

*  Nearchus  and  Onesicritus. 

'  The  inhabitants  of  the  modern  Mafcran. 

*  Either  the  Purali  or  the  Habh. 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

beluae  ibi  in  terram  pastaeque  radices  fruticum 
remeant ;  et  quaedam  equorum,  asinorum,  taurorum 
capitibus  quae  depascuntur  sata. 

8  III.  Maximum  animal  in  Indico  mari  pristis  et 
ballaena  est,  in  Gallico   oceano   physeter  ingentis 
columnae  modo  se  attollens  altiorque  navium  velis 
diluviem  quandam  eructans,  in  Gaditano  oceano  arbor 
in  tantum  vastis  dispansa  ramis  ut  ex  ea  causa  fre- 
tum  numquam  intrasse  credatur.    apparent  et  rotae 
appellatae  a  similitudine,  quaternis  distinctae  hae 
radiis,    modiolos    earum    oculis    duobus    utrimque 
claudentibus. 

9  IV.  Tiberio    principi    nuntiavit     Olisiponensium 
legatio  ob  id  missa  visum  auditumque  in  quodam 
specu    concha    canentem  Tritonem    qua    noscitur 
forma,     et  Nereidum  falsa  non  est,  squamis  modo 
hispido  corpore  etiam  qua  humanam  effigiem  ha- 
bent;    namque  haec  in  eodem  spectata  litore  est, 
cuius    morientis    etiam    cantum    tristem    accolae 
audivere  longe;    et  divo  Augusto  legatus  Galliae 
complures   in   litore   apparere   exanimes    Nereidas 

10  scripsit.  Auctores  habeo  in  equestri  ordine  splend- 
entes  visum  ab  his  in  Gaditano  oceano  marinum  hom- 
inem  toto  corpore  absoluta  similitudine ;  ascendere 
eum  navigia  nocturnis  temporibus  statimque  degra- 
168 


BOOK  IX.  XL  7-rv,  10 

out  on  to  the  land  in  that  country  and  after  grazing 
on  the  roots  of  bushes  return ;  and  there  are  some  with 
the  heads  of  horses,  asses  and  bulls  that  eat  up  the 
crops. 

III.  The  largest  animals  in  the  Indian  Ocean  are 
the  shark  and  the  whale ;  the  largest  in  the  Bay  of 
Biscay  is  the  sperm-whale,  which  rears  up  like  a 
vast  pillar  higher  than  a  ship's  rigging  and  belches 
out  a  sort  of  deluge ;  the  largest  in  the  Gulf  of  Cadiz 
is  the  tree-polypus,  which   spreads  out  such  vast 
branches  that  it  is  believed  never  to  have  entered  the 
Straits  of  Gibraltar  because  of  this.    The  creatures 
called  Wheels  from  their  resemblance  to  a  wheel 
also  put  in  an  appearance,  these  radiating  in  four 
spokes,  with  their  nave  terminating  in  two  eyes,  one 
on  each  side. 

IV.  An  embassy  from  Lisbon  sent  for  the  purpose  Tntons, 
reported  to  the  Emperor  Tiberius  that  a  Triton  had  ^£ 
been  seen  and  heard  playing  on  a  shell  in  a  certain  monsters. 
cave,  and  that  he  had  the  well-known  shape.    The 
description  of  the  Nereids  also  is  not  incorrect,  except 

that  their  body  is  bristling  with  hair  even  in  the 
parts  where  they  have  human  shape ;  for  a  Nereid 
has  been  seen  on  the  same  coast,  whose  mournful 
song  moreover  when  dying  has  been  heard  a  long 
way  off  by  the  coast-dwellers ;  also  the  Governor  of 
Gaul  wrote  to  the  late  lamented  Augustus  that  a  large 
number  of  dead  Nereids  were  to  be  seen  on  the  shore. 
I  have  distinguished  members  of  the  Order  of  Knight- 
hood as  authorities  for  the  statement  that  a  man  of  the 
sea  has  been  seen  by  them  in  the  Gulf  of  Cadiz,  with 
complete  resemblance  to  a  human  being  in  every 
part  of  his  body,  and  that  he  climbs  on  board  ships 
during  the  hours  of  the  night  and  the  side  of  the 

169 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

vari  quas  insederit  partes  et,  si  diutius  permaneat> 
etiam  mergi.  Tiberio  principe  contra  Lugdunensis 
provinciae  litus  in  insula  simul  trecentas  amplius 
beluas  reciprocans  destituit  oceanus  mirae  varietatis 
et  magnitudinis,  nee  pauciores  in  Santonum  litore 
interque  reliquas  elephantos  et  arietes  candore 1 
tantum  cornibus  adsimulatis,  Nereidas  vero  multas. 

11  Turranius  prodidit  expulsam  beluam  in  Gaditano 
litore  cuius  inter  duas  pinnas  ultimae  caudae  cubita 
sedecim    fuissent,   dentes    eiusdem    cxx,    maximi 
dodrantium  mensura,  minimi   semipedum.     beluae 
cui     dicebatur    exposita    fuisse    Andromeda    ossa 
Romae  apportata  ex  oppido  ludaeae  loppe  ostendit 
inter  reliqua  miracula  in  aedilitate  sua  M.  Scaur  us 
longitudine  pedum  XL,  altitudine  costarum  Indicos 
elephantos   excedente,   spinae   crassitudine   sesqui- 
pedali. 

12  V.  Balaenae   et  in  nostra  maria^  penetrant.     in 
Gaditano  oceano  non  ante   brumarrx    conspici    eas 
tradunt,  condi  autem  aestatis  temporibus  in  quodam 
sinu  placido  et  capaci,  mire  gaudentes  ibi  parere; 
hoc  scire  orcas,  infestam  iis  beluam  et  cuius  imago 
nulla   repraesentatione    exprimi   possit    alia   quam 

13  carnis  immensae  dentibus  truculentae.     inrumpunt 
ergo  in  secreta  ac  vitulos  earum  aut  fetas  vel  etiam- 
num    gravidas    lancinant    morsu,    incursuque    ceu 
Liburnicarum  rostris  fodiunt.     illae  ad  flexum  im- 
mobiles,  ad  repugnandum  inertes  et  pondere  suo 
oneratae,  tune  quidem  et  utero  graves  pariendive 

1  v.l.  tumore. 


0  Emperor  A.D.  14-37. 

6  Aedile  58  B.C.,  son  of  M.  Scaurus  mentioned  VIII  223. 

170 


BOOK  IX.  iv.  io-v.  13 

vessel  that  he  sits  on  is  at  once  weighed  down,  and 
if  he  stays  there  longer  actually  goes  below  the 
water.  During  the  rule  of  Tiberius  ,a  in  an  island  off 
the  coast  of  the  province  of  Lyons  the  receding  ocean 
tide  left  more  than  300  monsters  at  the  same  time,  of 
marvellous  variety  and  size,  and  an  equal  number  on 
the  coast  of  Saintes,  and  among  the  rest  elephants, 
and  rams  with  only  a  white  streak  to  resemble  horns, 
and  also  many  Nereids.  Turranius  has  stated  that  a 
monster  was  cast  ashore  on  the  coast  at  Cadiz  that 
had  24  feet  of  tail-end  between  its  two  fins,  and  also 
120  teeth,  the  biggest  9  inches  and  the  smallest 
6  inches  long.  The  skeleton  of  the  monster  to  which 
Andromeda  in  the  story  was  exposed  was  brought  by 
Marcus  Scaurus b  from  the  town  of  Jaffa  in  Judaea 
and  shown  at  Rome  among  the  rest  of  the  marvels 
during  his  aedileship ;  it  was  40  ft.  long,  the  height  of 
the  ribs  exceeding  the  elephants  of  India,  and  the 
spine  being  1  ft.  6  inches  thick. 

V.  Whales  even  penetrate  into  our  seas.  It  is 
said  that  they  are  not  seen  in  the  Gulf  of  Cadiz  before 
midwinter,  but  during  the  summer  periods  hide  in  a 
certain  calm  and  spacious  inlet,  and  take  marvellous 
delight  in  breeding  there ;  and  that  this  is  known  to 
the  killer  whale,  a  creature  that  is  the  enemy  of  the 
other  species  and  the  appearance  of  which  can  be 
represented  by  no  other  description  except  that  of  an 
enormous  mass  of  flesh  with  savage  teeth.  The  killer 
whales  therefore  burst  into  their  retreats  and  bite  and 
mangle  their  calves  or  the  females  that  have  calved 
or  are  still  in  calf,  and  charge  and  pierce  them  like 
warships  ramming.  The  whales  being  sluggish  in 
bending  and  slow  in  retaliating,  and  burdened  by 
their  weight,  and  at  this  season  also  heavy  with  young 

171 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

poenis  invalidae,  solum  auxilium  novere  in  altum 
profugere  et  se  tuto  1  defendere  oceano.  contra 
occurrere  laborant  seseque  opponere  et  caveatas 
angustiis  trucidare,  in  vada  urguere,  saxis  inlidere. 
spectantur  ea  proelia  ceu  mari  ipsi  sibi  irato,  nullis  in 
sinu  ventis,  fluctibus  vero  ad  anhelitus  ictusque 

14  quantos  nulli  turbines  volvant.     orca  et  in  portu 
Ostiensi  visa   est   oppugnata   a   Claudio   principe; 
venerat  turn  exaedificante  eo  portum  invitata  nau- 
fragiis  tergorum  advectorum  e  Gallia,  satiansque  se 
per  coniplures  dies  alveum  in  vado  sulcaverat  attumu- 
lata  fluctibus  in  tantum  ut  circumagi  nullo  modo 
posset  et,  dum  saginam  persequitur  in  litus  fluctibus 
propulsam,    emineret   dorso   multum   supra   aquas 

15  carinae  vice  inversae.    praetendi  iussit  Caesar  plagas 
multiplices  inter  ora  portus,  profectusque  ipse  cum 
praetorianis  cohortibus  populo  Romano  spectaculum 
praebuit  lanceas  congerente  milite  e  navigiis  adsul- 
tantibus,  quorum  unum  mergi  vidimus  reflatu  beluae 
oppletum  unda. 

16  VI.  Ora  ballaenae  habent  in  frontibus,  ideoque 
summa  aqua  natantes  in  sublime  nimbos  efflant. 
spirant  autem  confessione  omnium  et  paucissima  alia 

1  MayJioff :  tute  aut  toto. 

a  This  is  unlikely  j  it  was  probably  a  cachalot. 
6  Emperor  A.B.  41-54. 
172 


BOOK  IX.  v.  i3-vi.  16 

or  weakened  by  travail  in  giving  birth,  know  only 
one  refuge,  to  retreat  to  the  deep  sea  and  defend 
their  safety  by  means  of  the  ocean.  Against  this  the 
killer  whales  use  every  effort  to  confront  them  and  get 
in  their  way,  and  to  slaughter  them  when  cooped  up 
in  narrow  straits  or  drive  them  into  shallows  and 
make  them  dash  themselves  upon  rocks.  To 
spectators  these  battles  look  as  if  the  sea  were 
raging  against  itself,  as  no  winds  are  blowing  in  the 
gulf,  but  there  are  waves  caused  by  the  whales  blow- 
ing and  thrashing  that  are  larger  than  those  aroused 
by  any  whirlwinds.  A  killer  whale  was  actually  seen  Gram?™  m 
in  the  harbour  of  Ostia  *  in  battle  with  the  Emperor  Jjjjjj 
Claudius l  \  it  had  come  at  the  time  when  he  was  en- 
gaged in  completing  the  structure  of  the  harbour, 
being  tempted  by  the  wreck  of  a  cargo  of  hides  im- 
ported from  Gaul,  and  in  glutting  itself  for  a  number 
of  days  had  furrowed  a  hollow  in  the  shallow  bottom 
and  had  been  banked  up  with  sand  by  the  waves  so 
high  that  it  was  quite  unable  to  turn  round}  and 
while  it  was  pursuing  its  food  which  was  driven 
forward  to  the  shore  by  the  waves  its  back  pro- 
jected far  above  the  water  like  a  capsized  boat. 
Caesar  gave  orders  for  a  barrier  of  nets  to  be  stretched 
between  the  mouths  of  the  harbour  and  setting  out  in 
person  with  the  praetorian  cohorts  afforded  a  show  to 
the  Roman  public,  the  soldiery  hurling  lances  from 
the  vessels  against  the  creatures  when  they  leapt  up 
alongside,  and  we  saw  one  of  the  boats  sunk  from  being 
filled  with  water  owing  to  a  beast's  snorting. 

VI.  Whales  have  their  mouths  in  their  foreheads,  IT* 
and  consequently  when  swimming  on  the  surface  of 
the  water  they  blow  -clouds  of  spray  into  the  air. 
It  is  universally  admitted  that  a  very  few  other 

173 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

in  mari  quae  internorum  viscerum  pulmonem 
habent,  quoniam  sine  eo  spirare  animal  nullum 
putatur.  nee  piscium  branchias  habentes  anhelitum 
reddere  ac  per  vices  recipere  existimant  quorum  haec 
opinio  est,  nee  multa  alia  genera  etiam  branchiis 
carentia,  in  qua  sententia  fuisse  Aristotelem  video  et 

17  multis  persuasisse  doctrinae  indaginibus.1    nee  me 
protinus  huic  opinioni  eorum  accedere  haut  dissimuloj 
quoniam  et  pulmonum  vice  alia  possint  spirabilia 
inesse  viscera  ita  volente  natura,  sicut  et  pro  san- 
guine est  multis  alius  umor.     in  aquas  quidem  pene- 
trare  vitalem  hunc  halitum  quis  miretur  qui  etiam 
reddi  ab  his  eurn  cernat  et  is  terras  quoque  tanto 
spissiorem    naturae   partem    penetrare    argumento 
animalium  quae  semper  defossa  vivunt,  ceu  talpae  ? 

18  accedunt  apud  me  certe  efficacia  ut  credam  etiam 
omnia  in  aquis  spirare  naturae  suae  sorte,  primum 
adnotata  piscium  aestivo  calore  quaedam  anhelatio 
et  alia  tranquillo  velut  oscitatio,  ipsorum  quoque  qui 
sunt  in  adversa  opinione  de  somno  piscium  confessio, 
— quis     enim    sine    respiratione     somno    locus  ? — 
praeterea   bullantium   aquarum   sufflatio   lunaeque 
effectu   concharum     quoque    corpora    augescentia. 
super  omnia  est  quod  esse  auditum  et  odoratum 
piscibus  non  erit  dubium,  ex  aeris  utrumque  materia : 

1  doctrina  insignibus  Urlichs* 

a  Hist,  An.  VIII  2  init. 

fi  A  conjectural  variant  gives  *  and  caused  to  be  accepted  by 
many  distinguished  savants.9 

0  Pliny's  judgement  is  confirmed  by  modern  science. 

174 


BOOK  IX.  vi.  16-18 

creatures  in  the  sea  also  breathe,  those  whose 
internal  organs  include  a  lung,  since  it  is  thought  that 
no  animal  is  able  to  breathe  without  one.  Those 
who  hold  this  opinion  believe  that  the  fishes  possess- 
ing gills  do  not  alternately  expire  and  inspire  air, 
and  that  many  other  classes  even  lacking  gills  do  not 
— an  opinion  which  I  notice  that  Aristotle  a  held  and 
supported  by  many  learned  researches.6  Nor  do  I 
pretend  that  I  do  not  myself  immediately  accept  this 
view  of  theirs ,c  since  it  is  possible  that  animals  may 
also  possess  other  respiratory  organs  in  place  of 
lungs,  if  nature  so  wills,  just  as  also  many  possess 
another  fluid  instead  of  blood.  At  all  events  who 
can  be  surprised  that  this  life-giving  breath  pene- 
trates into  water  if  he  observes  that  it  is  also  given 
back  again  from  the  water,  and  that  it  also  pene- 
trates into  the  earth,  that  much  denser  element,  as  is 
proved  by  animals  that  live  always  in  underground 
burrows,  like  moles?  Undoubtedly  to  my  mind 
there  are  additional  facts  that  make  me  believe 
that  in  fact  all  creatures  in  the  water  breathe,  owing 
to  the  condition  of  their  own  nature — in  the  first 
place  a  sort  of  panting  that  has  often  been  noticed  in 
fishes  during  the  summer  heat,  and  another  form  of 
gasping,  so  to  speak,  in  calm  weather,  and  also  the 
admission  in  regard  to  fishes  sleeping  made  even  by 
those  persons  who  are  of  the  opposite  opinion — for 
how  can  sleep  occur  without  breathing  ? — and  more- 
over the  bubbles  caused  on  the  surface  of  the  water 
by  air  rising  from  below,  and  the  effect  of  the  moon 
in  causing  the  bodies  even  of  shellfish  to  increase  in 
size.  Above  all  there  is  the  fact  that  it  will  not  be 
doubted  that  fish  have  the  sense  of  hearing  and  smell, 
both  of  which  are  derived  from  the  substance  of  air : 

175 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

odorem    quidem   non   aliud   quam   infectum    aera 
intellegi  possit.     quamobrem   de   his   opinetur   ut 

19  cuique  libitum  erit.    branchiae  non  sunt  ballaenis, 
nee  delphinis.    haec  duo  genera  fistula  spirant  quae 
ad  pulmonem  pertineat  19  ballaenis  a  front  e,  delphinis 
a    dorso.     et    vituli   marini,    quos    vocant    phocas, 
spirant  ac  dormiunt  in  terra,    item  testudines,  de 
quibus  mox  plura. 

20  VII.  Velocissimum  omnium  animalium,  non  solum 
marinorum,  est  delphinus  ocior  volucre,  acrior  telo, 
ac  nisi  multum  infra  rostrum  os  illi  foret  medio 
paene  in  ventre,  nullus  piscium  celeritatem  eius 
evaderet.    sed  adfert  moram  providentia  naturae, 
quia  nisi  resupini  atque  conversi  non    corripiunt. 
quae  causa  praecipue  velocitatem  eorum  ostendit: 
nam  cum  fame  conciti  fugientem  in  vada  ima  perse- 
cuti  piscem   diutius   spiritum   continuere   ut   arcu 
missi  ad  respirandum  emicant,  tantaque  vi  exsiliunt 

21  ut  plerumque  vela  navium  transvolent.    vagantur 
fere  coniugia,  pariunt  catulos  decimo  mense  aestivo 
tempore,  interim  et  binos.    nutriunt  uberibus,  sicut 
ballaena,  atque  etiam  gestant  fetus  infantia  infirmos ; 
quin  et  adultos  diu  comitantur  magna  erga  partum 

22  caritate.    adolescunt    celeriter,   x    annis    putantur 
ad  summam  magnitudinem  pervenire.    vivunt   et 
tricenis,  quod  cognitum  praecisa  cauda  in  experi- 
mentum.    abduntur    tricenis    diebus    circa    canis 

1  MayJioff:  fistulae  (-is  edd.)  .  .  .  spirant. 

0  Of.  VIII  86. 
I76 


BOOK  IX.  vi.  i8-vn.  22 

scent  indeed  could  not  possibly  be  interpreted  as 
anything  else  than  an  infection  of  the  air.  Con- 
sequently it  is  open  to  every  person  to  form  what- 
ever opinion  about  these  matters  he  pleases.  Whales 
do  not  possess  gills,  nor  do  dolphins.  These  two 
genera  breathe  with  a  tube  that  passes  to  the  lung, 
in  the  case  of  whales  from  the  forehead  and  in  the 
case  of  dolphins  from  the  back.  Also  sea-calves, 
called  seals,  breathe  and  sleep  on  land,  as  also  do 
tortoises,  about  whom  more  shortly. 

VII.  The  swiftest  of  all  animals,  not  only  those  of  ne  dolphin. 
the  sea,  is  the  dolphin ;  it  is  swifter  than  a  bird  and 
darts  faster  than  a  javelin,  and  were  not  its  mouth 
much  below  its  snout,  almost  in  the  middle  of  its  belly, 
not  a  single  fish  would  escape  its  speed.  But  nature's 
foresight  contributes  delay,  because  they  cannot 
seize  their  prey  except  by  turning  over  on  their  backs. 
This  fact  especially  shows  their  speed;  for  when 
spurred  by  hunger  they  have  chased  a  fleeing  fish  into 
the  lowest  depths  and  have  held  their  breath  too 
long,  they  shoot  up  like  arrows  from  a  bow  in  order 
to  breathe  again,  and  leap  out  of  the  water  with 
such  force  that  they  often  fly  over  a  ship's  sails. 
They  usually  roam  about  in  couples,  husband  and 
wife ; a  they  bear  cubs  after  nine  months,  in  the 
summer  season,  occasionally  even  twins.  They 
suckle  their  young,  as  do  whales,  and  even  carry 
them  about  while  weak  from  infancy ;  indeed  they 
accompany  them  for  a  long  time  even  when  grown 
up,  so  great  is  their  affection  for  their  offspring. 
They  grow  up  quickly,  and  are  believed  to  reach  their 
full  stee  in  10  years.  They  live  as  much  as  30  years, 
as  has  been  ascertained  by  amputating  the  tail  of  a 
specimen  for  an  experiment.  They  are  in  retirement 

177 

VOL.  III.  N 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

ortum  occultanturque  incognito  niodo,  quod  eo 
magis  mirum  est  si  spirare  in  aqua  non  queunt. 
solent  in  terram  erumpere  incerta  de  causa,  nee 
statim  tellure  tacta  moriuntur,  multoque  ocius 

23  fistula  clausa.    lingua  est  is  contra  naturam  aqua- 
tilium   mobilis,   brevis    atque   lata,   haut    difFerens 
suillae.    pro  voce  gemitus  humano  similis,  dorsum 
repandum,  rostrum  simum:    qua  de  causa  nomen 
sirnonis  omnes  miro  modo  agnoscunt  maluntque  ita 
appellari. 

24  VIII.  Delphinus    non    homini    tantum    amicum 
animal  verum  et  musicae  arti,  mulcetur  symphoniae 
cantu  set  praecipue  hydrauli  sono.    hominem  non 
expavescit  ut  alienum,  obviam  navigiis  venit,  adludit 
exultans,  certat  etiam  et  quamvis  plena  praeterit 

25  vela,      divo    Augusto    principe    Lucrinum    lacum 
invectus    pauperis    cuiusdam    puerum    ex    Baiano 
Puteolos  in  luduna  litter  arium  itantem,  cum  meridiano 
immorans  appellatum  eum  simonis  nomine  saepius 
fragmentis  panis  quern  ob  iter  ferebat  adlexisset, 
miro  amore  dilexit — pigeret  referre  ni  res  Maecenatis 
et  Fabiani  et  Flavi  Alfii  multorumque  esset  litteris 
mandata, — ^quocumque   diei  tempore   inclamatus  a 
puero  quamvis  occultus  atque  abditus  ex  imo  advola- 


BOOK  IX.  vii.  22-vin.  25 

for  30  days  about  the  rising  of  the  dog-star  and  hide 
themselves  in  an  unknown  manner,  which  is  the  more 
surprising  in  view  of  the  fact  that  they  cannot  breathe 
under  water.  They  have  a  habit  of  sallying  out  on 
to  the  land  for  an  unascertained  reason,  and  they  do 
not  die  at  once  after  touching  earth — in  fact  they  die 
much  more  quickly  if  the  gullet  is  closed  up.  The 
dolphin's  tongue,  unlike  the  usual  structure  of 
aquatic  animals,  is  mobile,  and  is  short  and  broad, 
not  unlike  a  pig's  tongue.  For  a  voice  they  have  a 
moan  like  that  of  a  human  being;  their  back  is 
arched,  and  their  snout  turned  up,  owing  to  which  all 
of  them  in  a  surprising  manner  answer  to  the  name  of 
'  Snubnose  '  and  like  it  better  than  any  other. 

VIII.  The  dolphin  is  an  animal  that  is  not  only  The  dolphin 
friendly  to  mankind  but  is  also  a  lover  of  music, 
and  it  can  be  charmed  by  singing  in  harmony,  but 
particularly  by  the  sound  of  the  water-organ.  It  is 
not  afraid  of  a  human  being  as  something  strange  to 
it,  but  comes  to  meet  vessels  at  sea  and  sports  and 
gambols  round  them,  actually  trying  to  race  them  and 
passing  them  even  when  under  full  sail.  In  the  reign  casesoftame 
of  the  late  lamented  Augustus  a  dolphin  that  had  been 
brought  into  the  Lucrine  Lake  fell  marvellously  in  love 
with  a  certain  boy,  a  poor  man's  son,  who  used  to  go 
from  the  Baiae  district  to  school  at  Pozzuoli,  because 
fairly  often  the  lad  when  loitering  about  the  place  at 
noon  called  him  to  him  by  the  name  of  Snubnose  and 
coaxed  him  with  bits  of  the  bread  he  had  with  him 
for  the  journey, — I  should  be  ashamed  to  tell  the 
story  were  it  not  that  it  has  been  written  about  by 
Maecenas  and  Fabianus  and  Flavius  Alfius  and 
many  others, — and  when  the  boy  called  to  it  at  what- 
ever time  of  day,  although  it  was  concealed  in  hiding 

179 

N2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

bat  pastusque  e  manu  praebebat  ascensuro  dorsum, 
pinnae  aculeos  velut  vagina  con(fens,  receptumque 
Puteolos  per  magnum  aequor  in  ludum  ferebat  simili 
modo  revehens  pluribus  annis,  donee  morbo  extincto 
puero  subinde  ad  consuetum  locum  ventitans  tristis 
et  maerenti  similis  ipse  quoque,  quod  nemo  dubitaret, 

26  desiderio  expiravit.  alius  intra  hos  annos  Africo  litore 
Hipponis  Diarruti  simili  modo  ex  hominum  manu 
vescens   praebensque   se   tractandum   et   adludens 
nantibus  impositosque  portans  unguento  perunctus 
a  Flaviano  proconsule  Africae  et  sopitus,  ut  apparuit, 
odoris  novitate  fluctuatusque  similis  exanimi  caruit 
hominum  conversatione  ut  iniuria  fugatus  per  aliquot 
menses ;    mox   reversus   in   eodem   miraculo   fuit. 
iniuriae  potestatum  in  hospitales  ad  visendum  venie- 
tium    Hipponenses    in    necem    eius    compulerunt, 

27  ante  haec  similia  de  puero  in  laso  urbe  memorantur, 
cuius  amore  spectatus  longo  tempore,  dum  abeuntem 
in  litus  avide  sequitur,  in  harenam  invectus  expiravit ; 
puerum    Alexander    Magnus    Babylone    Neptunio 
sacerdotio  praefecit,  amorem  ilium  numinis  propitii 
fuisse  interpretatus.    in  eadem  urbe  laso  Hegeside- 
mus  scribit  et  alium  puerum  Hermian  nomine  similiter 
maria    perequitantem,    cum    repentinae    procellae 
fluctibus  exanimatus  esset,  relatum,  delphinumque 


180 


BOOK  IX.  vin.  25-27 

it  used  to  fly  to  him  out  of  the  depth,  eat  out  of  his 
hand,  and  let  him  mount  on  its  back,  sheathing  as  it 
were  the  prickles  of  its  fin,  and  used  to  carry  him  when 
mounted  right  across  the  bay  to  Pozzuoli  to  school, 
bringing  him  back  in  similar  manner,  for  several  years, 
until  the  boy  died  of  disease,  and  then  it  used  to  keep 
coming  sorrowfully  and  like  a  mourner  to  the 
customary  place,  and  itself  also  expired,  quite  un- 
doubtedly from  longing.  Another  dolphin  in  recent 
years  at  Hippo  Diarrhytus  on  the  coast  of  Africa 
similarly  used  to  feed  out  of  people's  hands  and  allow 
itself  to  be  stroked,  and  play  with  swimmers  and 
carry  them  on  its  back.  The  Governor  of  Africa, 
Flavianus,  smeared  it  all  over  with  perfume,  and 
the  novelty  of  the  scent  apparently  put  it  to 
sleep  :  it  floated  lifelessly^  about,  holding  aloof  from 
human  intercourse  for  some  months  as  if  it  had 
been  driven  away  by  the  insult ;  but  afterwards  it 
returned  and  was  an  object  of  wonder  as  before. 
The  expense  caused  to  their  hosts  by  persons  of 
official  position  who  came  to  see  it  forced  the  people 
of  Hippo  to  destroy  it.  Before  these  occurrences  a 
similar  story  is  told  about  a  boy  in  the  city  of 
lasus,  with  whom  a  dolphin  was  observed  for  a  long 
time  to  be  in  love,  and  while  eagerly  following  him 
to  the  shore  when  he  was  going  away  it  grounded  on 
the  sand  and  expired ;  Alexander  the  Great  made  the 
boy  head  of  the  priesthood  of  Poseidon  at  Babylon, 
interpreting  the  dolphin's  affection  as  a  sign  of  the 
deity's  favour.  Hegesidemus  writes  that  in  the  same 
city  of  lasus  another  boy  also,  named  Hermias,  while 
riding  across  the  sea  in  the  sam<$  manner  lost  his  life 
in  the  waves  of  a  sudden  storm,  but  was  brought  back 
to  the  shore,  and  the  dolphin  confessing  itself  the 

181 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

causam  se  1  leti  fatentem  non  reversum  in  maria 
atque  in  sicco  expirasse.      hoc  idem  et  Naupacti 

28  accidisse  Theophrastus  tradit.     nee   modus   exem- 
plorum:   eadem  Amphilochi  et  Tarentini  de  pueris 
delphinisque    narrant ;     quae    faciunt   ut    credatur 
Arionem    quoque    citharoedicae    artis,    interficere 
nautis   in  mari  parantibus   ad  intercipiendos   eius 
quaestus,    eblanditum    uti    prius    caneret    cithara, 
congregatis  cantu  delphinis,  cum  se  iecisset  in  mare 
exceptum  ab  uno  Taenarum  in  litus  pervectum. 

29  IX.  Est  provinciae  Narbonensis  et  in  Nemausiensi 
agro  stagnum  Later  a  appellatum  ubi  cum  homine 
delphini  societate  piscantur.    innumera  vis  mugilum 
stato    temp  ore    angustis    faucibus    stagni   in   mare 
erumpit    observata    aestus    reciprocatione,   qua  de 
causa  praetendi  non  queunt   retia,    aeque   molem 
ponderis  nullo  modo  toleratura2  etiamsi  non  sollertia 
insidiaretur  3    tempori.      simili    ratione    in     altum 
protinus    tendunt    quod    vicino    gurgite    efficitur, 
locumque  solum  pandendis  retibus  habilem  ejfFugere 

30  festinant.     quod    ubi    animadvertere    piscantes, — 
concurrit  autem  multitudo  temporis  gnara  et  magis 
etiam  voluptatis  huius  avida, — totusque  populus  e 
litore  quanto  potest  clamore  conciet  simonem  in 
spectaculi    eventum,    celeriter    delphini    exaudiunt 
desideria  aquilonum  flatu  vocem  prosequente,  austro 


182 


1  causam  se  ?  Mayhoff :  causa. 

2  v.ll  tolleretur,  tplletur. 
a  JZackham :  insidietur. 


BOOK  IX.  vm.  27-ix.  30 

cause  of  his  death  did  not  return  out  to  sea  and 
expired  on  dry  land.  Theophrastus  records  that 
exactly  the  same  thing  occurred  at  Naupactus  too. 
Indeed  there  are  unlimited  instances :  the  people  of 
Amphilochus  and  Taranto  tell  the  same  stories  about 
boys  and  dolphins ;  and  these  make  it  credible  that 
also  the  skilled  harper  Arion,  when  at  sea  the  sailors 
were  getting  ready  to  kill  him  with  the  intention  of 
stealing  the  money  he  had  made,  succeeded  in 
coaxing  them  to  let  him  first  play  a  tune  on  his  harp, 
and  the  music  attracted  a  school  of  dolphins,  where- 
upon he  dived  into  the  sea  and  was  taken  up  by  one  of 
them  and  carried  ashore  at  Cape  Matapan. 

IX.  In  the  region  of  Nismes  in  the  Province 
Narbonne  there  is  a  marsh  named  Latera  where  fishermen. 
dolphins  catch  fish  in  partnership  with  a  human 
fisherman.  At  a  regular  season  a  countless  shoal  of 
mullet  rushes  out  of  the  narrow  mouth  of  the  marsh 
into  the  sea,  after  watching  for  the  turn  of  the  tide, 
which  makes  it  impossible  for  nets  to  be  spread  across 
the  channel — indeed  the  nets  would  be  equally 
incapable  of  standing  the  mass  of  the  weight  even  if 
the  craft  of  the  fish  did  not  watch  for  the  opportunity. 
For  a  similar  reason  they  make  straight  out  into  the 
deep  water  produced  by  the  neighbouring  eddies, 
and  hasten  to  escape  from  the  only  place  suitable  for 
setting  nets.  When  this  is  observed  by  the  fisher- 
men— and  a  crowd  collects  at  the  place,  as  they  know 
the  time,  and  even  more  because  of  their  keenness 
for  this  sport — and  when  the  entire  population  from 
the  shore  shouts  as  loud  as  it  can,  calling  for '  Snub- 
nose  '  for  the  denouement  of  the  show,  the  dolphins 
quickly  hear  their  wishes  if  a  northerly  breeze  carries 
the  shout  out  to  sea,  though  if  the  wind  is  in  the 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

vero  tardius  ex  adverse  referente ;  sed  turn  quoque 

31  inproviso  in  auxilium  advolare  properant.1    apparet 
acies  quae  protinus  disponitur  in  loco  ubi  coniectus 
est  pugnae ;    opponunt  sese  ab  alto  trepidosque  in 
vada    urguent.     turn    piscatores    circumdant    retia 
furcisque  sublevant.    mugilum  nihilominus  velocitas 
transilit;   at  illos  excipiunt  delphini  et  occidisse  ad 

32  praesens  content!  cibos  in  victoriam  differunt.     op  ere 
proelium    fervet   includique    retibus    se    fortissime 
urguentes  gaudent  ac,  ne  id  ipsum  fugam  hostium 
stimulet,  inter  navigia  et  retia  nantesve  homines  ita 
sensim   elabuntur  ut    exitus  non  aperiant;    saltu, 
quod   est    alias  blandissimumi   is,   nullus    conatur 
evadere,    ni    summittantur    sibi    retia.    egressus 
protinus  ante  vallum  proeliatur.    ita  peracta  captura 
quos   interemere    diripiunt.    sed    enixioris    operae 
quam  in  unius  diei  praemium  conscii  sibi  opperiuntur 
in  posterum,  nee  piscibus  tantum  sed  et  intrita  panis 
e  vino  satiantur. 

33  X.  Quae  de  eodem  genere  piscandi  in  lasio  sinu 
Mucianus  tradit  hoc  differunt,  quod  ultro  neque 
inclamati  praesto  sint  partesque  e  manibus  accipiant 
et  suum  quaeque  cumba  e  delphinis  socium  habeat 

1  Mueller :  aduolajilj  properare  aut  aduolant  propere. 
184 


BOOK  IX.  ix,  3o-x.  33 

south,  against  the  sound,  it  carries  it  more  slowly ; 
but  then  too  they  suddenly  hasten  to  the  spot,  in 
order  to  give  their  aid.  Their  line  of  battle  comes 
into  view,  and  at  once  deploys  in  the  place  where 
they  are  to  join  battle ;  they  bar  the  passage  on  the 
side  of  the  sea  and  drive  the  scared  mullet  into  the 
shallows.  Then  the  fishermen  put  their  nets  round 
them  and  lift  them  out  of  the  water  with  forks. 
None  the  less  the  pace  of  some  mullets  leaps 
over  the  obstacles ;  but  these  are  caught  by  the 
dolphins,  which  are  satisfied  for  the  time  being  with 
merely  having  killed  them,  postponing  a  meal  till 
victory  is  won.  The  action  is  hotly  contested,  and 
the  dolphins  pressing  on  with  the  greatest  bravery  are 
delighted  to  be  caught  in  the  nets,  and  for  fear  that 
this  itself  may  hasten  the  enemy's  flight,  they  glide 
out  between  the  boats  and  the  nets  or  the  swimming 
fishermen  so  gradually  as  not  to  open  ways  of  escape ; 
none  of  them  try  to  get  away  by  leaping  out  of 
the  water,  which  otherwise  they  are  very  fond  of 
doing,  unless  the  nets  are  put  below  them.  One  that 
gets  out  thereupon  carries  on  the  battle  in  front 
of  the  rampart.  When  in  this  way  the  catch  has 
been  completed  they  tear  in  pieces  the  fish  that 
they  have  killed.  But  as  they  are  aware  that  they 
have  had  too  strenuous  a  task  for  only  a  single  day's 
pay  they  wait  there  till  the  following  day,  and  are 
given  a  feed  of  bread  mash  dipped  in  wine,  in  addition 
to  the  fish. 

X.  Mucianus's  account  of  the  same  kind  of  fishing  o«fer  «w«f 
in  the  lasian  Gulf  differs  in  this— the  dolphins  stand 
by  of  their  own  accord  and  without  being  summoned 
by  a  shout,  and  receive  their  share  from  the  fisher- 
men's hands,  and  each  boat  has  one  of  the  dolphins 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

quamvis  noctu  et  ad  faces,  ipsis  quoque  inter  se 
publica  est  societas  :  capto  a  rege  Cariae  alligatoque 
in  portu  ingens  reliquorum  convenit  multitude 
maestitia  quadam  quae  posset  intellegi  miserationem 
petens,  donee  dimitti  rex  eum  iussit.  quin  et  parvos 
semper  aliquis  grandior  comitatur  ut  custos;  con- 
spectique  iam  sunt  defunctum  portantes,  ne  lacerare- 
tur  a  beluis. 

34  XI.  Delphinorum  similitudinem  habent  qui  vocan- 
tur  thursiones  (distant  et  tristitia  quadam  aspectus, 
abest    enim   ilia   lascivia),   maxime    tamen   rostris 
canicularum  maleficentiae  adsimulati. 

35  XII.  Testudines    tantae    magnitudinis     Indicum 
mare  emittit  uti  singularum  superficie  habit abiles 
casas  integant  atque  inter  insulas  Rubri  praecipue 
maris  his  navigent  cumbis.    capiuntur  multis  quidem 
modis,  sed  maxime  evectae  in  summapelagi  anteme- 
ridiano  tempore  blandito,  eminente  toto  dorso  per 
tranquilla  fluit  antes,  quae  voluptas  lib  ere  spirandi  in 
tantum   fallit   oblitas   sui   ut   solis   vapore   siccato 
cortice  non  queant  mergi  invitaeque  fluitent  oppor- 

36  tunae  venantium  praedae.    ferunt  et  pastum  egressas 
noctu  avideque  saturatas  lassari  atque,  ut  remea- 
verint  matutino,  summa  in  aqua  obdormiscere ;    id 

0  The  Indian  sea-tortoise  (Chelonia  cephalo)  and  the  real 
tortoiseshell-turtle  (G.  imbricata). 

186 


BOOK  IX.  x.  33-xn.  36 

as  its  ally  although  it  is  in  the  night  and  by  torchlight. 
The  dolphins  also  have  a  form  of  public  alliance  of 
their  own:  when  one  was  caught  by  the  King  of 
Caria  and  kept  tied  up  in  the  harbour  a  great  multi- 
tude of  the  remainder  assembled,  suing  for  com- 
passion with  an  unmistakable  display  of  grief,  until 
the  king  ordered  it  to  be  released.  Moreover  small 
dolphins  are  always  accompanied  by  a  larger  one 
as  escort ;  and  before  now  dolphins  have  been  seen 
carrying  a  dead  comrade,  to  prevent  its  body  being 
torn  in  pieces  by  sea-monsters. 

XL  The  creatures  called  porpoises  have  a  resem-  The 
blance  to  dolphins  (at  the  same  time  they  are  dis- porpois£- 
tinguished  from  them  by  a  certain  gloomy  air,  as 
they  lack  the  sportive  nature  of  the  dolphin),  but 
in  their  snouts  they  have  a  close  resemblance  to  the 
maleficence  of  dogfish. 

XII.  The  Indian  Ocean  produces  turtles a  of  Turtle- 
such  size  that  the  natives  roof  dwelling-houses^^' 
with  the  expanse  of  a  single  shell,  and  use  them  as 
boats  in  sailing,  especially  among  the  islands  of  the 
Red  Sea.  They  are  caught  in  a  number  of  ways,  but 
chiefly  as  they  rise  to  the  surface  of  the  sea  when 
the  weather  in  the  morning  attracts  them,  and  float 
across  the  calm  waters  with  the  whole  of  their  backs 
projecting,  and  this  pleasure  of  breathing  freely 
cheats  them  into  self-forgetfulness  so  much  that  their 
hide  gets  dried  up  by  the  heat  and  they  are  unable 
to  dive,  and  go  on  floating  against  their  will,  an 
opportune  prey  for  their  hunters.  They  also  say  that 
turtles  come  ashore  at  night  to  graze  and  after 
gorging  greedily  grow  languid  and  when  they  have 
gone  back  in  the  morning  doze  off  to  sleep  on  the 
surface  of  the  water ;  that  this  is  disclosed  by  the 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

prodi  stertentium  sonitu;  turn  adnatare  leniter 
singulis  ternos,  a  duobus  in  dorsum  verti,  a  tertio 
laqueum  inici  supinae  atque  ita  e  terra  a  pluribus 
trahi,  in  Phoenicio  mari  haud  ulla  difficultate 
capiuntur;  ultroque  veniunt  stato  tempore  anni  in 
amnem  Eleutherum  efFusa  multitudine. 

37  Dentes  non  sunt  testudini,  set  rostri  margines 
acuti  superna  parte,  interior  em  claudente  pyxidum 
modo  tanta  oris  duritia  ut  lapides  comminuant.     in 
mari  conchyliis  vivunt,  in  terrain  egressae  herbis. 
pariunt  ova  avium  ovis  similia  ad  centena  numero, 
eaque   defossa   extra  aquas   et  cooperta  terra   ac 
pavita1  pectore  et  complanata  incubant  noctibus. 
educunt  fetus  annuo  spatio.     quidam  oculis  spectan- 
doque  ova  foveri  ab  iis  putant,  feminas  coitum  fugere 
donee    mas    festucam    aliquam    inponat    aversae. 

38  Trogodytae   comigeras  habent  ut  in  lyra   adnexis 
cornibus  latis   sed  mobilibus,   quorum  in  natando 
remigio  se  adiuvant ;  chelium 2  id  vocatur,  eximiae 
testudinis    sed   rarae ;     namque    scopuli   praeacuti 
Chelonophagos  terrent,  Trogodytae  autem,  ad  quos 
adnatant,  ut  sacras   adorant.     sunt   et  terrestres, 
quae  ob  id  in  operibus  chersinae  vocantur,  in  Africae 
desertis    qua    parte    maxime    sitientibus    harems 

1  terra  pavita  hac  MayJioff. 

2  C.  Mtiller :  celtium. 

a  Testudo  marginata,  the  land-tortoise. 
188 


BOOK  IX.  xn.  36-38 

noise  of  their  snoring ;  and  that  then  the  natives 
swim  quietly  up  to  them,  three  men  to  one  turtle, 
and  two  turn  it  over  on  its  back  while  the  third  throws 
a  noose  over  it  as  it  lies,  and  so  it  is  dragged  ashore  by 
more  men  hauling  from  the  beach.  Turtles  are 
caught  without  any  difficulty  in  the  Phoenician  Sea; 
and  at  a  regular  period  of  the  year  they  come  of 
their  own  accord  into  the  river  Eleutherus  in  a 
straggling  multitude. 

The  turtle  has  no  teeth,  but  the  edges  of  the  beak  structure  and 
are  sharp  on  the  upper  side,  and  the  mouth  closing 
the  lower  jaw  like  a  box  is  so  hard  that  they  can  crush 
stones.  They  live  on  shell-fish  in  the  sea  and  on 
plants  when  they  come  ashore.  They  bear  eggs  like 
birds'  eggs  numbering  up  to  100  at  a  time;  these 
they  bury  in  the  ground  somewhere  ashore,  cover 
them  with  earth  rammed  down  and  levelled  with  their 
chests,  and  sleep  on  them  at  night.  They  hatch  the 
young  in  the  space  of  a  year.  Some  people  think 
that  they  cherish  their  eggs  by  gazing  at  them  with 
their  eyes ;  and  that  the  females  refuse  to  couple 
till  the  male  places  a  wisp  of  straw  on  one  as  she 
turns  away  from  him.  The  Cavemen  have  horned 
turtles  with  broad  horns  twisted  inward  like  those 
of  a  lyre  but  movable,  which  they  use  as  oars  to  aid 
themselves  in  swimming ;  the  name  for  this  horn  is 
chelium ;  it  is  of  tortoise  shell  of  exceptional  quality, 
but  it  is  seldom  seen,  as  the  very  sharp  rocks 
frighten  the  Turtle-eater  tribe,  while  the  Cavemen, 
on  whose  coasts  the  turtles  swim,  worship  them  as 
sacred.  There  are  also  turtles  living  on  land,"  and 
consequently  called  in  works  on  the  subject  t 
Terrestrial  species ;  these  are  found  in  the  deserts  of 
Africa  in  the  region  of  the  dryest  and  m6st  arid 

1851 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

squalent,    roscido,    ut    creditor,    umore    viventes. 

39  neque  aliud  ibi  animal  provenit.    XIII,  testudinum 
putamina  secare  in  laminas  lectosque  et  repositoria 
his  vestire  Carvilius  Pollio  instituit,  prodigi  et  sagacis 
ad  luxuriae  instrumenta  ingenii. 

40  XIV.     Aquatilium    tegumenta   plura    sunt.     alia 
corio  et  pilo  integuntur  ut  vituli  et  hippopotami,  alia 
corio  tantum  ut  delphmi,  cortice  ut  testudines,  silicum 
duritia  ut  ostreae  et  conchae,  crustis  ut  locustae, 
crustis  et  spinis  ut  echini,  squamis  ut  pisces,  aspera 
cute  ut  squatina,  qua  lignum  et  ebora  poliuntur, 
molli  ut  murenae,  alia  nulla  ut  polypi. 

41  XV.  Quae    pilo    vestiuntur    animal    pariunt    ut 
pristis,  ballaena,  vitulus.     hie  parit  in  terra,  pecudum 
more  secundas  partus  reddit,  in  coitu  canum  modo 
cohaeret,  parit  nonnumquam  geminis  plures,  educat 
mammis  fetum,  non  ante  duodecimum  diem  deducit 
in  mare,  ex  eo  subinde  assuefaciens.    inter ficiuntur 
difficulter  nisi  capite  eliso.     ipsis  in  sono  mugitus, 
unde   nomen  vituli;    accipiunt  tamen  disciplinam, 
voceque  1  pariter  et  nisu  2  populum  salutant,  incon- 

42  dito    fremitu   nomine   vocati   respondent,      nullum 
animal  graviore  somno  premitur.  "  pinnis  quibus  in 
mari  utuntur  humi   quoque   vice   pedum  serpunt. 
pelles  eorum  etiam  detractas  corpori  sensum  aequor- 

1  v.l,  vocemque.          2  Mueller  :  visu  aut  iussu. 
190 


BOOK  IX.  xii.  38-xv.  42 

sands,  and  it  is  believed  that  they  live  on  the  moisture 
of  dew.    No  other  animal  occurs  there.    XIII.  The  Tortoise- 
practice  of  cutting  tortoiseshell  into  plates  and  using  sML 
it  to  decorate  bedsteads  and  cabinets  was  introduced 
by  Carvilius  Pollio,  a  man  of  lavish  talent  and  skill  in 
producing  the  utensils  of  luxury. 

XIV.  The  aquatic  animals  have  a  variety  of  cover-  Various 
ings.    Some  are  covered  with  hide  and  hair,  for^ST 
instance  seals  and  hippopotamuses ;  others  with  hide  species. 
only,  as  dolphins,  or  with  shell,  as  turtles,  or  a  hard 
flinty  exterior,  as  oysters  and  mussels,  with  rind, 

as  lobsters,  with  rind  and  spines,  as  sea-urchins, 
with  scales,  as  fishes,  with  rough  skin  which  can  be 
used  for  polishing  wood  and  ivory,  as  skates,  with  soft 
skin,  as  lampreys;  others  with  no  skin  at  all,  as 
polyps. 

XV.  The   aquatic    animals    clad    with   hair   are  Vmparovs 
viviparous — for  instance  the  saw-fish,  the  whale  and 

the  seal.  The  last  bears  its  young  on  land ;  it  pro- 
duces after-birth  like  cattle;  in  coupling  it  clings 
together  as  dogs  do ;  it  sometimes  gives  birth  to  more 
than  two  in  a  litter ;  it  rears  its  young  at  the  breast ; 
it  does  not  lead  them  down  into  the  sea  before 
the  twelfth  day,  thereafter  continually  accustoming 
them  to  it.  Seals  are  with  difficulty  killed  unless  the 
head  is  shattered.  Of  themselves  they  make  a  noise 
like  lowing,  whence  their  name  '  sea-calves ' ;  yet 
they  are  capable  of  training,  and  can  be  taught  to 
salute  the  public  with  their  voice  and  at  the  same 
time  with  bowing,  and  when  called  by  name  to 
reply  with  a  harsh  roar.  No  animal  sleeps  more 
heavily.  The  fins  that  they  use  in  the  sea  also  serve 
them  on  land  as  feet  to  crawl  with.  Their  hides  even 
when  flayed  from  the  body  are  said  to  retain  a  sense 

191 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

um  retinere  tradunt  semperque  aestu  maris  recedente 
inhorrescere ;  praeterea  dextrae  pennae  vim  sopori- 
feram  inesse  somnosque  allicere  subditam  capiti. 

43  Pilo  carentium  duo  omnino  animal  pariunt,  del- 
phinus  ac  vipera. 

XVI.  Piscium  species  sunt  LXXIV  praeter  crustis 
intectas  l  quae  sunt  xxx  de  singulis  alias  dicemus, 
nunc  enim  naturae  tractantur  insignium. 

44  XVII.  Praecipua  magnitudine  thynni ;  invenimus 
talenta  xv  pependisse,  eiusdem  caudae  latitudinem 
duo  cubita    et   palmum.     fiunt    et    in   quibusdam 
amnibus  haut  minores,  silurus  in  Nilo,  isox  in  Rheno, 
attilus  in  Pado  inertia  pinguescens  ad  mille  aliquando 
libras,  catenate  captus  hamo  nee  nisi  boum  iugis 
extractus.     atque  hunc  minimus  appellatus  clupea 
venam  quandam  eius  in  faucibus  mira  cupidine  appe- 

45  tens  morsu  exanimat.    silurus  grassatur  ubicumque 
est  omne  animal  appetens,  equos  innatantes  saepe 
demergens.    praecipue  in  Moeno  Germaniae  amne 
protelis    boum    et    in    Danuvio    marris    extrahitur 
porculo  marino  simillimus ;   et  in  Borysthene  mem- 
oratur  praecipua  magnitude  nullis  ossibus  spinisve 

46  intersitis,  carne  praedulci.    in  Gange  Indiae  platan- 
istas  vocant  rostro  delphini  et  cauda,  magnitudine 
autem    xvi    cubitorum.     in     eodem     esse     Statius 
Sebosus  haut  modico  miraculo  affert  vermes  branchiis 

1  Rackham :  intecta. 

a  The  catfish  also  occurs  in  Europe,  where  it  is  the  largest 
freshwater  fish,  in  the  Danube  running  to  400  Ib.  in  weight 
and  10  ft.  or  more  in  length. 

192 


BOOK  IX.  xv.  42-xvn.  46 

of  the  tides j  and  always  to  bristle  when  the  tide  is 
going  out;  and  it  is  also  said  that  the  right  fin 
possesses  a  soporific  influence,  and  when  placed 
under  the  head  attracts  sleep. 

Two  only  of  the  hairless  animals  are  viviparous,  the 
dolphin  and  the  viper. 

XVI.  There  are  74  species  of  fishes,  not  including  Varieties  of 
those  that  have  a  hard  covering,  of  which  there  are  ^h' 
thirty.    We  will  speak  of  them  severally  in  another 

place,  for  now  we  are  dealing  with  the  natures  of 
specially  remarkable  species. 

XVII.  The  tunny  is  of  exceptional  size ;   we  are  Exception- 
told  of  a  specimen  weighing  a  third  of  a  ton  and 
having  a  tail  3  ft.  4  in.  broad.    Fish  of  no  less  size 

also  occur  in  certain  rivers,  the  catfish  in  the  Nile,a 
the  pike  in  the  Rhine,  the  sturgeon  in  the  Po,  a  fish 
that  grows  so  fat  from  sloth  that  it  sometimes  reaches 
a  thousand  pounds;  it  is  caught  with  a  hook  on  a 
chain  and  only  drawn  out  of  the  water  by  teams  of 
oxen.  And  this  monster  is  killed  by  the  bite  of  a 
very  small  fish  called  the  anchovy  which  goes  for  a 
particular  vein  in  its  throat  with  remarkable  voracity. 
The  catfish  ranges  about  and  goes  for  every  living 
creature  wherever  it  is,  often  dragging  down  horses 
when  swimming.  A  fish  very  like  a  sea-pig  is  drawn 
out  with  teams  of  oxen,  especially  in  the  river  Main 
in  Germany,  and  in  the  Danube  with  weeding-hooks ; 
an  exceptionally  large  species  with  no  internal  frame- 
work of  bones  or  vertebrae  and  very  sweet  flesh  is 
recorded  in  the  Dnieper.  In  the  Ganges  in  India 
there  is  a  fish  called  the  platanista6  with  a  dolphin's 
beak  and  tail,  but  24  ft.  long.  Statius  Sebosus  gives 
an  extremely  marvellous  account  of  worms  in  the 

b  So  called  to-day;  a  variety  of  dolphin. 

193 
VOL.  III.  O 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

birds  sexaginta  cubitorum,  caeruleos,  qui  nomen  a 
facie  traxerunt;  his  tantas  esse  vires  ut  elephantos 
ad  potus  venientis  mordicus  comprehensa  manu 
eorum  abstrahant. 

47  XVIII.  Thynni   mares    sub    ventre    non    habent 
pinnam.    intrant  e  magno  mari  Pontum  verno  tern- 
pore  gregatim,nec  alibi  fetincant.  cordyla  appellatur 
partuSj  qui  fetas  redeuntes  in  mare  autumno  cornita- 
tur,  limosae  vere  l  aut  e  luto  pelamydes  incipiunt 
vocari  et,  cum  annuum  excessere  tempus,  thynni. 

48  hi  membratim  caesi  cervice  et  abdomine  commend- 
antur  atque  clidio,  recenti  dumtaxat,  et  turn  quoque 
gravi  ructu;    cetera  parte  plenis  pulpamentis  sale 
adservantur:    melandrya  vocantur,  quercus   assulis 
similia.     vilissima  ex  his  quae  caudae  proxima,  quia 
pingui  carent,  probatissima  quae  faucibus ;    at  in 
alio  pisce  circa 'caudam  exercitatissima.2   pelamydes 
in  apolectos  particulatimque   consectae   in  genera 
cybiorum  dispertiuntur. 

49  XIX.  Piscium  genus   omne   praecipua   celeritate 
adolescit,  maxime  in  Ponto ;  causa  multitude  amnium 
dulces    infer entium    aquas,     amiam    vocant    cuius 
incrementum    singulus    diebus    intellegitur.     cum 
thynnis  haec  et  pelamydes  in  Pontum  ad  dulciora 
pabula  intrant  gregatim  suis  quaeque  ducibus,  et 

1  Hardonin  :  vero.  2  exqizisitissima  Gronovius. 


194 


a  I.e.  caeruleus,  '  blue-worm.' 
0  Or,  emending  the  text,  *  most  in  demand.' 


BOOK  IX.  xvn.  46-xix.  49 

same  river  that  have  a  pair  of  gills  measuring  90  ft. ; 
they  are  deep  blue  in  colour,  and  named  a  from  their 
appearance;  he  says  that  they  are  so  strong  that 
they  carry  off  elephants  coming  to  drink  by  gripping 
the  trunk  in  their  teeth. 

XVIII.  Male  tunnies  have  no  fin  under  the  belly.  The  tunny. 
In  spring  time  they  enter  the  Black  Sea  from  the 
Mediterranean  in  shoals,  and  they  do  not  spawn 
anywhere  else.    The  name  of  cordyla  is  given  to  the 

fry,  which  accompany  the  fish  when  they  return  to 
the  sea  in  autumn  after  spawning;  in  the  spring* 
they  begin  to  be  called  mudfish  or  pelamydes  (from  the 
Greek*  for '  mud '),  and  when  they  have  exceeded  the 
period  of  one  year  they  are  called  tunny.  These  fish 
are  cut  up  into  parts,  and  the  neck  and  belly  are 
counted  a  delicacy,  and  also  the  throat  provided  it 
is  fresh,  and  even  then  it  causes  severe  flatulence ; 
all  the  rest  of  the  tunny,  with  the  flesh  entire, 
is  preserved  in  salt:  these  pieces  are  called 
melandrya,  as  resembling  splinters  of  oak-wood. 
The  cheapest  of  them  are  the  parts  next  the  tail, 
because  they  lack  fat,  and  the  parts  most  favoured 
are  those  next  the  throat ;  whereas  in  other  fish  the 
parts  round  the  tail  are  most  in  use.c  At  the 
pdamys  stage  they  are  divided  into  choice  slices  and 
cut  up  small  into  a  sort  of  little  cube. 

XIX.  Fishes  of  all  kinds  grow  up  exceptionally 
fast,  especially  in  the  Black  Sea;  this  is  due  to  the 
fresh  water  carried  into  it  by  a  large  number  of  rivers. 
The  name  of  scomber  is  given  to  a  fish  whose  growth  in 
size  can  be  noticed  daily.    This  fish  and  the  pelamys 
in  company  with  the  tunny  enter  the  Black  Sea  in 
shoals  in  search  of  less  brackish  feeding-grounds,  each 
kind  with  its  own  leaders,  and  first  of  all  the  mackerel, 

195 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

primi  omnium  scombri,  quibus  est  in  aqua  sulpureus 
color,  extra  qm  ceteris.  Hispaniae  cetarias  hi  replent 
thynnis  non  commeantibus. 

50  XX.  Sed  in  Pontum  nulla  intrat  bestia  piscibus 
malefica  praeter  vitulos  et  parvos  delphinos,    thynni 
dextera  ripa  intrant,  exeunt  laeva ;  id  accidere  exist- 
imatur  quia  dextro  oculo  plus  cernant,  utroque  natura 
hebeti.     est  in  euripo  Thracii  Bospori  quo  Propontis 
Euxino  iungitur  in  ipsis  Europam  Asiamque  sepa- 
rantis  freti  angustiis   saxum  miri   candoris    a  vado 
ad  summa  perlucens,  iuxta  Chalcedonem  in  latere 

51  Asiae.     huius  aspectu  repente  territi  semper  adver- 
sum  Byzantii  promunturium  ex  ea  causa  appellatum 
Aurei    Cornus    praecipiti    petunt    agmine.     itaque 
omnis    captura    Byzantii    est    magna    Chalcedonis 
paenuria,    M    passibus    medii    interfluentis    euripi. 
opperiuntur  autem  aquilonis  flatum,  ut  secundo  fluctu 
exeant  e  Ponto,  nee  nisi  x  intrantes  portum  Byzan- 
tium capiuntur.     bruma  non  vagantur :    ubicumque 
deprehensi,    usque    ad    aequinoctium    ibi    hibern- 
ant.     idem  saepe   navigia  veils   euntia  comitantes 
mira     quadam    dulcedine     per    aliquot     horarum 
spatia  et  passuum  milia  a  gubernaculis  spectantur 
ne   tridente    quidem  in   eos   saepius   iacto   territi. 
quidam    eos    qui   hoc   e   thynnis   faciant   pompilos 

52  vocant.     multi  in  Propontide  aestivant,  Pontum  non 

1  Edd.  nisi  <infantes>  vel  <parvi>  vel  <pusilli>. 

a  Probably  the  text  is  to  be  altered  to  give  '  only  the  young 
fry  are  taken/  to  conform  with  Arist.  Hist.  An.  VIII  13,  p. 
598a  26. 

196 


BOOK  IX.  xix.  49-xx.  52 

which  when  in  the  water  is  sulphur-coloured,  though 
out  of  water  it  is  the  same  colour  as  the  other  kinds. 
These  fill  the  fish-ponds  of  Spain,  the  tunny  not  going 
with  them. 

XX.  But  no  creature  harmful  to  fish  enters  the  Habits  of 
Black  Sea  besides  seals  and  small  dolphins.  The 
tunny  enter  it  by  the  right  bank  and  go  out  of  it 
by  the  left ;  this  is  believed  to  occur  because  they 
can  see  better  with  the  right  eye,  being  by  nature 
dim  of  sight  in  both  eyes.  In  the  channel  of  the 
Thracian  Bosphorus  joining  the  Sea  of  Marmora  with 
the  Black  Sea,  in  the  actual  narrows  of  the  channel 
separating  Europe  and  Asia,  there  is  a  rock  of 
marvellous  whiteness  that  shines  through  the  water 
from  the  bottom  to  the  surface,  near  Chalcedon  on 
the  Asiatic  side.  The  sudden  sight  of  this  always 
frightens  them,  and  they  make  for  the  opposite 
promontory  of  Istambul  in  a  headlong  shoal;  this 
is  the  reason  why  that  promontory  has  the  name  of 
the  Golden  Horn.  Consequently  all  the  catch  is  at 
Istambul,  and  there  is  a  great  shortage  at  Chalcedon, 
owing  to  the  1000  yards  of  channel  flowing  in  be- 
tween. But  they  wait  for  a  north  wind  to  blow  so 
as  to  go  out  of  the  Black  Sea  with  the  current,  and 
are  only  taken a  when  entering  the  harbour  of 
Istambul.  In  winter  they  do  not  wander ;  wherever 
winter  catches  them,  there  they  hibernate  till  the 
equinox.  They  are  also  frequently  seen  from  the 
stern  of  vessels  proceeding  under  sail,  accompanying 
them  in  a  remarkably  charming  manner  for  periods 
of  several  hours  and  for  a  distance  of  some  miles, 
not  being  scared  even  by  having  a  harpoon  repeatedly 
thrown  at  them.  Some  people  give  the  name  of 
pilot-fish  to  the  tunny  that  do  this.  Many  pass  the 
summer  in  the  Sea  of  Marmora  without  entering  the 

197 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

intrant;  item  soleae,  cum  rhombi  intrent.  nee 
sepia  adest,1  cum  lolligo  reperiatur.  saxatilium 
turdus  et  merula  desunt,  sicut  conchylia,  cum 
ostreae  abundent ;  omnia  autem  hibernant  in  Aegaeo. 
intrantium  Pontum  soli  non  remeant  trichiae — 
Graecis  enim  in  plerisque  nominibus  uti  par  erit, 
quando  aliis  atque  aliis  eosdem  diversi  appellavere 

53  tractus — ,  sed  hi  soli  in  Histrum2  subeunt  et  ex 
eo   subterraneis   eius   venis   in   Hadriaticum   mare 
defluunt,  itaque  et  illic  descendentes  nee  umquam 
subeuntes  e  mari  visuntur.     thynnorum  captura  est 
a  vergiliarum   exortu  ad  arcturi  occasum;    reliquo 
tempore  hiberno  latent  in  gurgitibus  imis  nisi  tepore 
aliquo  evocati   aut  pleniluniis.     pinguescunt  et  in 
tantum  ut  dehiscant.     vita  longissima  his  bienni. 

54  XXI.  Animal  est  parvum  scorpionis  effigie,  aranei 
magnitudine.     hoc  se  et  thynno  et  ei  qui  gladius 
vocatur,  crebro  delphini  magnitudinem  excedenti, 
sub  pinna  adfigit  aculeo,  tantoque  infestat  dolore 
ut  in  naves  saepenumero  exiliant.     quod  et  alias 
faciunt  aliorum  vim  timentes  mugiles  maxime,  tarn 
praecipuae  velocitatis  ut  transversa  navigia  interim 
superiaciant.3 

55  XXII.  Sunt  et  in  hac  parte  naturae  auguria,  sunt  et 
piscibus  praescita.    Siculo  bello  ambulante  in  litore 

1  Haclcham :  est. 

2  Mayhoff :  Histrum  mare  aut  H.  amnem. 

3  Mayhojf  (cf.  vii.  81) :  superiactant,  -ent. 

a  The  beginning  of  summer,  the  48th  day  after  the  vernal 
equinox. 

6  The  evening  setting,  early  in  November. 
0  Probably  a  parasitic  copepod. 
d  38-36  B.O. 

198 


BOOK  IX.  xx.  52-xxn.  55 

Black  Sea;  the  same  is  the  case  with  the  sole, 
though  the  turbot  does  enter  it.  Nor  does  the  sepia 
occur  there,  though  the  cuttle-fish  is  found.  Of  rock- 
fish  the  sea-bream  and  whiting  are  lacking,  as  are  some 
shell-fish,  though  oysters  are  plentiful ;  but  they  all 
winter  in  the  Aegean.  Of  those  entering  the  Black 
Sea  the  only  kind  that  never  returns  is  the  trichia  or 
sardine — it  will  be  convenient  to  use  the  Greek  names 
in  most  cases,  as  different  districts  have  called  the 
same  species  by  a  great  variety  of  names — ,  but  these 
alone  enter  the  Danube  and  float  down  from  it  by  its 
underground  channels  into  the  Adriatic,  and  con- 
sequently there  also  they  are  regularly  seen  going 
down  stream  and  never  coming  up  from  the  sea. 
The  season  for  catching  tunny  is  from  the  risea 
of  the  Pleiads  to  the  setting b  of  Arcturus ;  during 
the  rest  of  the  winter  time  they  lurk  at  the 
bottom  of  the  water  unless  tempted  out  by  a  mild 
spell  or  at  full  moon.  They  get  fat  even  to  the 
point  of  bursting.  The  tunny's  longest  life  is  two 
years. 

XXL  There  is  a  small  animal c  shaped  like  a,  Parasite  of 
scorpion,  of  the  size  of  a  spider.    This  attaches  itself the  tmny' 
with  a  spike  under  the  fin  of  both  the  tunny  and  the 
fish  called  sword-fish,  which  often  exceeds  the  size  of 
a  dolphin,  and  torments  them  so  painfully  that  they 
frequently  jump  out  of  the  water  into  ships.    This 
is  also  done  on  other  occasions  from  fear  of  the 
violence  of  other  fish,  especially  by  mullet,  which 
are  so  exceptionally  swift  that  they  sometimes  leap 
right  over  ships  that  lie  across  their  path. 

XXII.  In  this  department  of  nature  also  there  are  Portents 
cases  of  augury;  even  fish  have  fore-knowledge  Of^ 
events.    During  the  Sicilian  Ward  when  Augustus 

199 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

Augusto  piscis  e  mari  ad  pedes  eius  exilivit,  quo 
argumento  vates  respondere  Neptunum  patrem 
adoptante  turn  sibi  Sexto  Pompeio — tanta  erat 
navalis  rei  gloria — sub  pedibus  Caesaris  futures  qui 
maria  tempore  illo  tenerent. 

56  XXIII.  Piscium  feminae  maiores  quam  mares,     in 
quodam  genere  omnino  non  sunt  mares,  sicut  eryth- 
inis  et  channis,  omnes  enim  ovis  gravidae  capiuntur. 
vagantur  gregatim  fere  cuiusque  generis  squamosi. 
capiuntur  ante  solis  ortum:    turn  maxime  piscium 
fallitur  visus.     noctibus  quies,  set  inlustribus  aeque 
quam    die    cernunt.      aiunt    et    si   teratur   gurges 
interesse   capturae,   itaque   plures    secundo   tractu 
capi  quam  primo.     gustu  olei  maxime,  dein  modicis 
imbribus  gaudent  alunturque  :   quippe  et  har undines 
quamvis  in  palude  prognatae  non  tamen  sine  imbre 
adolescunt;    et  alias  ubicumque  pisces  in   eadem 
aqua  adsiduij  si  non  affluat,  exanimantur. 

57  XXIV.  Praegelidam  hiemem  omnes  sentiunt,  sed 
maxime  qui  lapidem  in  capite  habere  existimantur, 
ut  lupij  chromes,  sciaenae,  phagri.     cum  asperae 
hi  ernes   fuere,   multi   caeci   capiuntur.     itaque   his 
mensibus  iacent  speluncis  conditi  (sicut  in  genere 
terrestrium  retulimus),  maxime  hippurus  et  coracini, 
hieme  non  capti  praeterquam  statis  diebus  Baucis 
et  isdem  semper,  item  murena  et  orphus,  conger, 
percae  et  saxatiles  omnes.     terra  quidem,  hoc  est 

«  VIII 126  ff. 

&  Coryphaeus  hippuris,  Portuguese  *  dorado.* 

200 


BOOK  IX.  xxii.  55-xxiv.  57 

was  walking  on  the  shore  a  fish  leapt  out  of  the  sea 
at  his  feetj  a  sign  which  the  priests  interpreted  as 
meaning  that  although  Sextus  Pompeius  was  then 
adopting  Neptune  as  his  father — so  glorious  were  his 
naval  exploits,— yet  those  who  at  that  time  held  the 
seas  would  later  be  beneath  the  feet  of  Caesar. 

XXIII.  Female  fish  are  larger  than  the  males.    In 
one  kind  there  are  no  males  at  all,  as  is  the  case  with 
red  mullet  and  sea-perch,  for  all  those  caught  are 
heavy  with  eggs.    Almost  every  kind  with  scales  is 
gregarious.    Fish  are  caught  before  sunrise  ;  at  that  Modes  of 
hour  their  sight  is  most  fallible.    In  the  night  they  c 
repose,  but  on  bright  nights  they  can  see  as  well  as  by 

day.  People  also  say  that  scraping  the  bottom  helps 
the  catch,  and  that  consequently  more  are  caught  at 
the  second  haul  than  at  the  first.  Fish  are  fondest 
of  the  taste  of  oil,  but  next  to  that  they  enjoy  and 
derive  nourishment  from  moderate  falls  of  rain: 
in  fact  even  reeds  although  growing  in  a  marsh 
nevertheless  do  not  grow  up  without  rain;  and 
besides,  fishes  everywhere  die  when  kept  continually 
in  the  same  water,  if  there  is  no  inflow. 

XXIV.  All  fish  feel  a  very  cold  winter,  but  most  of  Hibernating 
all  those  that  are  believed  to  have  a  stone  in  their  spe™s' 
head,  for  instance  the  bass,  the  ckromis,  the  ombre 

and  the  phagrus.  When  the  winter  has  been  severe 
a  great  many  are  caught  blind.  Consequently  in  the 
winter  months  they  lie  hidden  in  caves  (like  cases 
that  we  have  recorded  in  the  class  of  land-animals  a), 
particularly  the  hippuris b  and  blackfish,  which  are  not 
caught  in  winter  except  on  a  few  regular  days  that 
are  always  the  same,  and  also  the  lamprey  and  the 
orphus,  the  conger  and  perch  and  all  rockfish.  It  is 
indeed  reported  that  the  electric  ray,  the  plaice  and 

201 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

vado  maris  excavate,  condi  per  hiemes  torpedinem, 
psettam,  soleam  tradunt. 

58  XXV.  Quidam  rursus   aestus   inpatientia  mediis 
fervoribus  sexagenis  diebus  latent,  ut  glaucus,  aselli, 
auratae.     fluviatilium  silurus  caniculae  exortu  sider- 
atur,  et  alias  semper  fulgure  sopitur.     hoc  et  in  mari 
accidere   cyprino   putant.     et   alioqui   totum   mare 
sentit  exortum  eius  sideris,  quod  maxime  in  Bosporo 
apparet,  alga  enim  et  pisces  superferuntur,  omnia- 
que  ab  imo  versa. 

59  XXVI.  Mugilum  natura  ridetur  in  metu  capite 
abscondito   totos    se   occultari   credentium.     isdem 
tarn  incauta  salacitas  ut  in  Phoenice  et  in  Narbonensi 
provincia   coitus   tempore   e   vivariis   marem   linea 
longinqua  per  os  ad  branchias  religata  emissum  in 
mare  eademque  linea  retractum  feminae  sequantur 
ad  litus,  rursusque  feminam  mares  partus  tempore. 

60  XXVII.  Apud  antiques  piscium  nobilissimus  habi- 
tus accipenser,  unus  omnium  squamis  ad  os  versis, 
contra  quam  in  nando  meat,1  nullo  nunc  in  honor  e 
est,  quod  equidem2  miror,  cum  sit  rarus  inventu- 
quidam  eum  elopem  vocant. 

61  XXVIII.  Postea  praecipuam  auctoritatem  fuisse 
lupo  et  asellis  Nepos  Cornelius  et  Laberius  poeta  mim- 
orum  tradidere,  luporum  laudatissimi  qui  appellantur 

1  Rackham  :  meant.  2  Mayhoff  :  quidem. 

202 


BOOK  IX.  xxiv.  57-xxvm.  61 

the  sole  hide  through  the  winters  in  the  ground,  that 
is,  in  a  hole  scraped  out  at  the  bottom  of  the  sea, 

XXV.  Some  fish  again  being  unable  to  endure  heat  Species 
hide  for  8  or  9  weeks  during  the  heats  of  midsummer,  *"""""* 
for  instance  the  grayling,  the  haddock  and  the  gilt- 1 
bream.    Of  river  fish  the  catfish  has  a  stroke  at stroke' 
the  rise  of  the  dogstar,  and  at  other  times  is  always 
made   drowsy  by   lightning.    This  is   thought  to 
happen  to  the  carp  even  in  the  sea.    And  beside 

this  the  whole  sea  is  conscious  of  the  rise  of  that 
star,  as  is  most  clearly  seen  in  the  Dardanelles, 
for  sea-weed  and  fishes  float  on  the  surface,  and 
everything  is  turned  up  from  the  bottom. 

XXVI.  It  is  an  amusing  trait  in  the  mullet  that  catching 
when  frightened  it  hides  its  head  and  thinks  it  is  mullet" 
entirely  concealed.    The  same  fish  is  so  incautious 

in  its  wantonness  that  in  Phoenicia  and  in  the 
Province  of  Narbonne  at  the  breeding  season  a  male 
mullet  from  the  fish-ponds  is  sent  out  into  the  sea 
with  a  long  line  tied  to  its  gills  through  its  mouth 
and  when  it  is  drawn  back  by  the  same  line  the  females 
follow  it  to  the  shore,  and  again  the  males  follow  a 
female  at  the  laying  season. 

XXVII.  In  old  days  the  sturgeon  was  held  to  be  Grades  of 
the  noblest  of  the  fishes,  being  the  only  one  with  its  ^m^ 
scales  turned  towards  the  mouth,  in  the  opposite  sturgeon. 
direction  to  the  one  in  which  it  swims ;  but  now  it 

is  held  in  no  esteem,  which  for  my  part  I  think 
surprising,  as  it  is  a  fish  seldom  to  be  found.  One 
name  for  it  is  the  elops. 

XXVIII.  Cornelius  Nepos  and  the  mime-writer  Ganges  of 
Laberius  have  recorded  that  at  a  later  period  the  ^1  and  the 
chief  rank  belonged  to  the  bass  and  the  haddock,  haddock. 
The  kind  of  bass  most  praised  is  the  one  called  the 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

lanati  a  candor e  mollitiaque  carnis.  asellorum  duo 
genera,  collyri l  minor es  et  bacchi  qui  non  nisi  in 
alto  capiuntur,  ideo  praelati  prioribus.  at  in  lupis  in 
amne  capti  praeferuntur. 

62  XXIX.  Nunc  principatus  scaro  datur,   qui  solus 
piscium  dicitur  ruminare  herbisque  vesci  atque  non 
aliis   piscibusj    Carpathio   maxime   mari   frequens; 
promunturium   Troadis   Lectum  numquam    sponte 
transit,     inde    advectos    Tiberio    Claudio    principe 
Optatus    e    libertis    eius    praefectus     classis    inter 
Ostiensem  et  Campaniae  oram  sparsos  disseminavit, 

63  quinquennio  fere  cura  adhibita  ut  capti  redderentur 
mari.    postea  frequentes  inveniuntur  Italiae  litore, 
non  antea  ibi  capti;    admovitque  sibi  gula  sapores 
piscibus  satis  et  novum  incolam  mari  dedit,  ne  quis 
peregrinas   aves  Romae  parere  miretur.     proxima 
est  mensa  iecori  dumtaxat  musfcelarum  quas,  minim 
dictu,  inter  Alpes  quoque  lacus  Raetiae  Brigantinus 
aemulas  marinis  generat. 

64  XXX.  Ex   reliqua  nobilitate   et   gratia   maximo 
est  et  copia  mullis,  sicut  magnitudo  modica,  binasque 
libras  ponderis  raro  admodum  exuperant,  nee  in 
vivariis  piscinisque  crescunt.     septentrionalis  tantum 
hos   et   proxima   occidentis   parte   gignit   oceanus. 

1  callariae  Hermolaus  ex  AtJien.  vii.  315. 
204 


BOOK  IX.  xxvin.  6i-xxx.  64 

woolly  bass,  from  the  whiteness  and  softness  of  its 
flesh.  There  are  two  kinds  of  haddock—  the  collyrus, 
which  is  the  smaller,  and  the  bacchus,  which  is  only 
caught  in  deep  water,  and  consequently  is  preferred 
to  the  former.  But  among  bass  those  caught  in  a 
river  are  preferred. 

XXIX.  Nowadays  the  first  place  is  given  to  the  The  wrasse. 
wrasse,  which  is  the  only  fish  that  is  said  to  chew  the 
cud  and  to  feed  on  grasses  and  not  on  other  fish.  It 
is  especially  common  in  the  Carpathian  Sea;  it 
never  of  its  own  accord  passes  Cape  Lectmn  in  the 
Troad.  Some  wrasse  were  imported  from  there  in  the 
principate  of  Tiberius  Claudius  by  one  of  his  freed- 
men,  Optatus,  Commander  of  the  Fleet,  and  were 
distributed  and  scattered  about  between  the  mouth 
of  the  Tiber  and  the  coast  of  Campania,  care  being 
taken  for  about  five  years  that  when  caught  they 
should  be  put  back  into  the  sea.  Subsequently  they 
have  been  frequently  found  on  the  coast  of  Italy, 
though  not  caught  there  before  ;  and  thus  greed  has 
provided  itself  with  additional  dainties  by  cultivating 
fish,  and  has  bestowed  on  the  sea  a  new  denizen  — 
so  that  nobody  must  be  surprised  that  foreign  birds 
breed  at  Rome.  The  next  place  belongs0  at  all 
events  to  the  liver  of  the  lamprey  that  strange  to  say 
the  Lake  of  Constance  in  Raetia  in  the  Central 
Alps  also  produces  to  rival  the  marine  variety. 


XXX.  Of  other  fish  of  a  good  class  the  red  mullet 
stands  first  in  popularity  and  also  in  plentifulness, 
though  its  size  is  moderate  and  it  but  rarely  exceeds 
2  Ibs.  in  weight,  nor  does  it  grow  larger  when  kept 
in  preserves  and  fishponds.  This  gize  is  only  pro- 
duced by  the  northern  ocean  and  in  its  westernmost 

«  Cf,  XIV  16  ante  eum  Raeticis  prior  mensa  erat  avis. 

205 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

cetero  genera  eorum  plura.     nam  et  alga  vescuntur 
et  ostreis  et  limo  et  aliorum  piscium  carne ;  et  barba 

65  gemina  insigniuntur  inferiore  labro.     lutarium  ex  iis 
vilissimi  generis  appellant,     hunc  semper  comitatur 
sargus    nomine    alius    piscis,    et    caenum    fodiente 
eo    excitatum    devorat    pabulum,     nee    litoralibus 
gratia,     laudatissimi    conchylium    sapiunt.     nomen 
his  Fenestella  a  colore  mulleorum  calciamentorum 
datum  putat.     pariunt  ter  annis :  certe  totiens  fetura 

66  apparet.     mullum   expirantem   versicolori    quadam 
et  numerosa  varietate  spectari  proceres  gulae  nar- 
rant,   rubentium   squamarum   multiplied   mutatione 
pallescentem.  utique  si  vitro  spectetur  inclusus.    M. 
Apicius  ad  omne  luxus  ingenium  natus  *  in  sociorum 
garo — nam    ea    quoque    res    cognomen    invenit — 
necari 2  eos  praecellens  putavit,  atque  e  iecore  eorum 

67  alecem    excogitari.3     XXXI.  provocavit — id    enim 
est  facilius  dixisse  quam  quis  vicerit — Asinius  Celer 
e   consularibus    hoc  pisce  prodigos 4   omnes,   Gaio 
principe  unum  mercatus   HS.  vm  mullum.     quae 
reputatio  aufert  traversum  animum  ad  contempla- 
tionem  eorum  qui  in  conquestione  luxus  cocos  emi 
singulos  pluris  quam  equos  queritabant;    at   mine 
coci   trium  horum 5   pretiis   parantur    et    cocorum 
pisces,   nullusque   prope   iam    mortalis    aestimatur 

1  Hardouin  :  mains.  2  necare  ?  Mueller. 

3  Raclcham  :  excogztare.        4  Mueller :  prodigus. 
5  fteinesius  (vel  trium  equorum) :  triumphorum. 

a  Or  perhaps  '  Fenestella  thinks  that  this  fish  (the  red  mullet) 
has  received  its  name  from  the  colour  of  the  shoes  called 
mullei.' 

b  For  this  fish-sauce  see  XXXI  93. 

0  Say  £70  gold. 

206 


BOOK  IX.  xxx.  64-xxxi.  67 

part.  For  the  rest,  there  are  several  kinds  of  mullet. 
For  it  feeds  on  seaweed,  bivalves,  mud  and  the  flesh 
of  other  fish;  and  it  is  distinguished  by  a  double 
beard  on  the  lower  lip.  The  mullet  of  cheapest  kind 
is  called  the  mud-mullet.  This  variety  is  always 
accompanied  by  another  fish  named  sea-bream,  and 
it  swallows  down  as  fodder  mire  stirred  up  by  the 
sea-bream  digging.  The  coast  mullet  also  is  not  in 
favour.  The  most  approved  kind  have  the  flavour  of 
an  oyster.  This  variety  has  the  name  of  shoe-mullet ? 
which  Fenestella  thinks  was  given  it  from  its  colour.0 
It  spawns  three  times  a  year — at  all  events  that  is 
the  number  of  times  that  its  fry  is  seen.  The 
leaders  in  gastronomy  say  that  a  dying  mullet 
shows  a  large  variety  of  changing  colours,  turning 
pale  with  a  complicated  modification  of  blushing 
scales,  at  all  events  if  it  is  looked  at  when  contained 
in  a  glass  bowl.  Marcus  Apicius,  who  had  a  natural 
gift  for  every  ingenuity  of  luxury,  thought  it  specially 
desirable  for  mullets  to  be  killed  in  a  sauce  made  of 
their  companions,  garumb — for  this  thing  also  has 
procured  a  designation — and  for  fish-paste  to  be 
devised  out  of  their  liver.  XXXI.  With  a  fish  of  prices  paw, 
this  kind  one  of  the  proconsular  body,  Asinius  Celer, 
in  the  principate  of  Gaius,  issued  a  challenge — it  is 
not  so  easy  to  say  who  won  the  match — to  all  the 
spendthrifts  by  giving  8000  sesterces c  for  a  mullet. 
The  thought  of  this  side-tracks  the  mind  to  the  con- 
sideration of  the  people  who  in  their  complaints 
about  luxury  used  to  protest  that  cooks  were  being 
bought  at  a  higher  price  per  man  than  a  horse ;  but 
now  the  price  of  three  horses  is  given  for  a  cook, 
and  the  price  of  three  cooks  for  a  fish,  and  almost 
no  human  being  has  come  to  be  more  valued  than 

207 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

pluris  quam  qui  peritissime  censum  domini  mergit. 

68  mullum  LXXX  librarum  in  mari  Rubro  captum  Licinius 
Mucianus  prodidit  quanti  mercatura    eum   luxuria 
suburbanis  litoribus  inventum  ? 

XXXII.  Est  et  haec  natura  ut  alii  alibi  pisces 
principatum  optineant,  coracinus  in  Aegypto,  zaeus, 
idem  faber  appellatus,  Gadibus,  circa  Ebusum  salpa, 
obscenus  alibi  et  qui  nusquam  percoqui  possit  nisi 
ferula  verberatus;  in  Aquitania  salmo  fluviatilis 
marinis  omnibus  praefertur. 

69  XXXIII.  Piscium  alii  branchias  multiplices   ha- 
bent,  alii  simplices,  alii  duplices.    his  aquam  ernittunt 
acceptam     ore.      senectutis    indicium    squamarum 
duritia,  quae  non  sunt  omnibus  similes,     duo  lacus 
Italiae  in  radicibus  Alpium  Larius  et  Verbannus 
appellantur,  in  quibus  pisces  omnibus  annis  vergiliar- 
um  ortu  existunt  squamis  conspicui  crebris  atque 
praeacutis,  clavorum  caligarium  emgie,  nee  amplius 
circa  eum  mensem  visuntur. 

70  XXXIV.  Miratur    et    Arcadia   suum    exocoetum 
appellatum  ab  eo  quod  in  siccum  somni  causa  exeat. 
circa  Clitorium  vocalis  hie  traditur  et  sine  branchiis, 
idem  ab  1  aliquis  Adonis  dictus. 

71  XXXV.  Exeunt  in  terram  et  qui  marini  mures 
vocantur  et  polypi  et  murenae;    quin  et  in  Indiae 
fluminibus  certum  genus  piscium,  ac  deinde  resilit  — 
nam  in  stagna  et  amnes  transeundi  plerisque  evidens 

1  ab  add. 


a  See  note  on  §  53.  b  Andbas  Scandens. 

208 


BOOK  IX.  xxxi.  6y-xxxv.  71 

one  that  is  most  skilful  in  making  his  master  bank- 
rupt. Licinius  Mucianus  has  recorded  the  capture 
in  the  Red  Sea  of  a  mullet  weighing  80  Ibs. ;  what 
price  would  our  epicures  have  paid  for  it  if  it  had 
been  found  on  the  coasts  near  the  city? 

XXXII.  It  is  also  a  fact  of  nature  that  different  ^tiesof 
fishes  hold  the  first  rank  in  different  places — the  LS?t  * 
blackfish  in  Egypt,  the  John  Dory  (also  called  the 
carpenter-fish)  at  Cadiz,  the  stockfish  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Iviza,  though  elsewhere  it  is  a  disgusting 

fish,  and  everywhere  it  is  unable  to  be  cooked 
thoroughly  unless  it  has  been  beaten  with  a  rod ;  in 
Aquitaine  the  river  salmon  is  preferred  to  all  sea-fish. 

XXXIII.  Some  fish  have  numerous  gills,  others  varieties  of 
single  ones,  others  double.    With  the  gills  they  JJ^f1* 
discharge    the    water    taken   in    by    the    mouth. 
Hardening  of  the  scales,  which  are  not  alike  in  all 
fishes,  is  a  sign  of  age.    There  are  two  lakes  in 

Italy  at  the  foot  of  the  Alps,  named  Como  and 
Maggiore,  in  which  every  year  at  the  rising  of  the 
Pleiads a  fish  are  found  that  are  remarkable  for 
close-set  and  very  sharp  scales,  shaped  like  shoe- 
nails,  but  they  are  not  commonly  seen  for  a  longer 
period  than  about  a  month  from  then. 

XXXIV.  Arcadia  also  has  a  marvel  in  its  climbing 
perch,6  so  called  because  it  climbs  out  on  to  the 
land  to  sleep.    In  the  district  of  the  river  Clitorius 
this  fish  is  said  to  have  a  voice  and  no  gills;  the 
same  variety  is  by  some  people  called  the  Adonis  fish. 

XXXV.  The  fish  called  the  sea-mouse  also  comes  out  pwh  that 
on  to  the  land,  as  do  the  polypus  and  the  lamprey ; come  to  land- 
so  also  does  a  certain  kind  of  fish  in  the  rivers  of 

India,  and  then  jumps  back  again — for  in  most 
cases  there  is  an  obvious  purpose  in  getting  across  into 

209 
VOL.  in,  p 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

ratio  est  ut  tutos  fetus  edant,  quia  non  sint  ibi  qui 
devorent  partus  fluctusque  minus  saeviant.  has 
intellegi  ab  iis  causas  servarique  temporum  vices 
magis  miretur  si  quis  reputet  quoto  cuique  hominum 
nosci  uberrimam  esse  capturam  sole  transeunte 
piscium  signum. 

72  XXXVL  Marinorum  alii  sunt  plani,  ut  rhombi, 
soleae  ac  passeres,  qui  ab  rhombis  situ  tantum  cor- 
porum  diiFerunt — dexter  hie  resupinatus   est   illis, 
passeri    laevos ;      alii    longi,    ut    murena,    conger. 

73  XXXVII.  Ideo  pinnarum  quoque  fiunt  discrimina, 
quae  pedum  vice  sunt  datae  piscibus,  nullis  supra 
quattuor,  quibusdam  ternae,  quibusdam  binae,  aliquis 
nullae.    in  Fucino  tantum  lacu  piscis  est  qui  octonis 
pinnis  natat.    binae  omnino  longis  et  lubricis,  ut 
anguillis  et  congris,  aliis  l  nullae,  ut  murenis,  quibus 
nee    branchiae,    haec    omnia    flexuoso    corporum 
inpulsu  ita  mari  utuntur  ut  serpentes  terra,  et  in 
sicco  quoque  repunt;    ideo  etiam  vivaciora  talia. 
et  e  planis  aliqua  non  habent  pinnas,  ut  pastinacae — 
ipsa  enim  latitudine  natant — et  quae  mollia  appell- 
antur,    ut   polypi,    quoniam   pedes   illis   pinnarum 
vicem  praestant 

74  XXXVIII.  Anguillae  octonis  vivunt  annis.   durant 
et  sine  aqua  quinis  et 2  senis  diebus  aquilone  spirante, 
austro  paucioribus,     at  hiemem  eaedem  in  exigua 

1  aliis  add.  Mueller  ex  Aristotele. 

2  Mueller  ex  Ar. :  sine  aquis  et. 

0  Or  dab ;  the  identification  is  doubtful. 
210 


BOOK  IX.  xxxv.  7i~xxxvm.  74 

marshes  and  lakes  so  as  to  produce  their  offspring 
safe,  as  in  those  waters  there  are  no  creatures  to 
devour  their  young  and  the  waves  are  less  fierce. 
Their  understanding  these  reasons  and  their  observ- 
ing the  changes  of  the  seasons  would  seem  more 
surprising  to  anybody  who  considers  what  fraction 
of  mankind  is  aware  that  the  biggest  catch  is  made 
when  the  sun  is  passing  through  the  sign  of  the 
Fishes. 

XXXVI.  Some  sea-fish  are  flat,  for  instance  the  Flatfish. 
turbot,  the  sole  and  the  flounder/  which  differs  from 
the  turbot  only  in  the  posture  of  its  body  —  the  turbot 
lies  with  the  right  side  uppermost  and  the  flounder 
with  the  left  ;  while  other  sea-fish  are  long,  as  the 
lamprey  and  the  conger.  XXXVII.  Consequently  varieties  of 
differences  also  occur  in  the  fins,  which  are  bestowed  fins' 
on  fish  instead  of  feet  ;  none  have  more  than  four, 
some  have  three,  some  two,  certain  kinds  none.  In 
the  Lago  di  Celano,  but  nowhere  else,  there  is  a  fish 
that  has  eight  fins  to  swim  with.  Long  slippery  fish 
like  eels  and  congers  generally  have  two  fins,  others 
have  none,  for  instance,  the  lamprey  which  also  has 
no  gills.  All  this  class  use  the  sea  as  snakes  do  the 
land,  propelling  themselves  by  twisting  their  bodies, 
and  they  also  crawl  on  dry  land;  consequently  this 
class  are  also  longer-lived.  Some  of  the  flat-fish  too 
have  not  got  fins,  for  example,  the  sting-ray  —  for 
these  swim  merely  by  means  of  their  breadth  —  and 
the  kinds  called  soft  fish,  such  as  polyps,  since  their 
feet  serve  them  instead  of  fins. 

XXXVIII.  Eels  live  eight  years.    They  can  even  HOMU  of 
last  five  or  six  days  at  a  time  out  of  water  if  a  north  *    *' 
wind  is  blowing,  but  not  so  long  with  a  south  wind. 
But  the  same  fish  cannot  endure  winter  in  shallow 


p2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

aqua  non  tolerant,  neque  in  turbida ;  ideo  circa  ver- 
gilias  maxime  capiuntur  fluminibus  turn  praecipue 
turbidis.  pascuntur  noctibus.  exanimes  piscium  solae 

75  non  fluitant.    lacus  est  Italiae  Benacus  in  Veronensi 
agro  Mincium  amnem  tramittens,  ad  cuius  emersum  I 
annuo    tempore,    Octobri    fere    mense,    autumnali 
sidere,  ut  palam  est,  hiemato  lacu,  fluctibus  glomer- 
atae  volvuntur  in  tantum  mirabili  multitudine  ut  in 
excipulis    eius    fluminis    ob    hoc    ipsum    fabricatis 
singulorum  milium  reperiantur  globi. 

76  XXXIX.  Murena  quocumque  mense  parit,  cum 
ceteri    pisces    stato    pariant.     ova    eius    citissime 
crescunt.     in    sicca    litora    elapsas    vulgus     coitu 
serpentium  impleri  putat.     Aristoteles  zmyrum  vocat 
marem  qui  generet;   discrimen  esse  quod  murena 
varia  et  infirma  sit,  zmyrus  unicolor  et  robustus 
dentesque  et 2  extra  os  habeat.    in  Gallia  septen- 
trionali  murenis  omnibus  dextera  in  maxilla  septenae 
maculae    ad    formam    septenfcrionis    aureo    colore 
fulgent  dumtaxat  viventibus,  pariterque  cum  anima 

77  extinguuntur.     invenit  in  hoc  animali  documenta 
saevitiae  Vedius  Pollio  eques  Romanus  ex  amicis 
divi   Augusti  vivariis   earum   immergens-  damnata 
mancipia,  non  tamquam  ad  hoc  feris  terrarum  non 
sufficientibus,  sed  quia  in  alio  genere  totum  pariter 

1  RackJiam :  emersus. 

2  et  add.  ex  Aristotele  MayTioff. 

0  See  on  §  53.  b  Unidentifiable. 

212 


BOOK  IX.  xxxvin.  74-xxxix.  77 

nor  in  rough  water;  consequently  they  are  chiefly 
caught  at  the  rising  of  the  Pleiads  ,a  as  the  rivers 
are  then  specially  rough.  They  feed  at  night. 
They  are  the  only  fish  that  do  not  float  on  the 
surface  when  dead.  There  is  a  lake  called  Garda 
in  the  territory  of  Verona  through  which  flows  the 
river  Mincio,  at  the  outflow  of  which  on  a  yearly 
occasion,  about  the  month  of  October,  when  the 
lake  is  made  rough  evidently  by  the  autumn  star, 
they  are  massed  together  by  the  waves  and  rolled 
in  such  a  marvellous  shoal  that  masses  of  fish,  a 
thousand  in  each,  are  found  in  the  receptacles 
constructed  in  the  river  for  the  purpose. 

XXXIX.  The  lamprey  spawns  in  any  month,  Habits  of  tfo 
although  all  other  fish  have  fixed  breeding  seasons.  l 
Its  eggs  grow  very  quickly.  Lampreys  are  commonly 
believed  to  crawl  out  on  to  dry  land  and  to  be 
impregnated  by  copulating  with  snakes.  Aristotle 
gives  the  name  of  zmyrus 6  to  the  male  fish  which 
generates,  and  says  that  the  difference  is  that  the 
lamprey  is  spotted  and  feeble  whereas  the  zmyrus 
is  self-coloured  and  hardy,  and  has  teeth  projecting 
outside  the  mouth.  In  Northern  Gaul  all  lampreys 
have  seven  spots  on  the  right  jaw  arranged  like  the 
constellation  of  the  Great  Bear,  which  are  of  a 
bright  golden  colour  as  long  as  the  fish  are  alive, 
and  are  extinguished  when  they  are  deprived  of 
life.  Vedius  Pollio,  Knight  of  Borne,  a  member  of 
the  Privy  Council  under  the  late  lamented  Augustus, 
found  in  this  animal  a  means  of  displaying  his 
cruelty  when  he  threw  slaves  sentenced  to  death 
into  ponds  of  lampreys — not  that  the  wild  animals 
on  land  were  not  sufficient  for  this  purpose,  but 
because  with  any  other  kind  of  creature  he  was 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

hominem  distrahi  spectare  non  poterat.  ferunt 
aceti  gustatu  1  praecipue  eas  in  rabiem  agi.  ten- 
uissimum  his  tergus,  contra  anguillis  crassius,  eoque 
verberari  solitos  tradit  Verrius  praetextatos,  et  ob 
id  multam  iis  dici  non  institutum. 

78  XL.  Planorum  piscium  alterum  est  genus  quod 
pro  spina  cartilaginem  habet,  ut  raiae,  pastinacae, 
squatinae,  torpedo,  et  quos  bovis,  lamiae,  aquilae, 
ranae  nominibus  Graeci  appellant,     quo  in  numero 
sunt    squali    quoque,    quamvis    non    plani.     haec 
Graece  in  universum  creXa^^  appellavit  Aristoteles 
primo  hoc  nomine  eis  inposito :   nos  distinguere  non 
possumus  nisi  si  cartilaginea  appellare  libeat.     omnia 
autem  carnivora  sunt  talia,  et  supina  vescuntur,  ut 
in  delphinis  diximus,  et  cum  ceteri  pisces  ova  pariant, 
hoc  genus  solum  ut  ea  quae  cete  appellant  animal 
parit  excepta  quam  ranam  vocant. 

79  XLI.  Est  parvus  admodum  piscis  adsuetus  petris 
echeneis  appellatus.    hoc  carinis  adhaerente  naves 
tardius  ire  creduntur  inde  nomine  inposito,  quam 
ob  causam  amatoriis  quoque  veneficiis  infamis  est  et 
iudiciorum  ac  litium  mora,  quae  crimina  una  laude 
pensat  fluxus  gravidarum  utero  sistens  partusque 
continens  ad  puerperium.    in  cibos  tamen  non  ad- 

1  Mayhoff  ?  (cf.  x.  185  &c.) :  gustu. 

0  The  remora* 
214 


BOOK  IX.  xxxix.  77-XLi.  79 

not  able  to  have  the  spectacle  of  a  man  being  torn 
entirely  to  pieces  at  one  moment.  It  is  stated  that 
tasting  vinegar  particularly  drives  them  mad. 
Their  skin  is  very  thin,  whereas  that  of  eels  is  rather 
thick,  and  Verrius  records  that  it  used  to  be  used 
for  flogging  boys  who  were  sons  of  citizens,  and 
that  consequently  it  was  not  the  practice  for  them 
to  be  punished  with  a  fine. 

XL.  There  is  a  second  class  of  flatfish  that  has  Boneless 
gristle  instead  of  a  backbone,  for  instance  rays, 
sting-rays,  skates,  the  electric  ray,  and  those  the 
Greek  names  for  which  mean  'ox,'  '  sorceress,' 
'  eagle  '  and  '  frog.'  This  group  includes  the  squalus 
also,  although  that  is  not  a  flatfish.  These  Aristotle 
designated  in  Greek  by  the  common  name  of  selach- 
ians, giving  them  that  name  for  the  first  time ;  but 
we  cannot  distinguish  them  as  a  class  unless  we  like 
to  call  them  the  cartilaginea.  But  all  such  fish  are 
carnivorous,  and  they  feed  lying  on  their  backs,  as 
we  said  in  the  case  of  dolphins;  and  whereas  all 
other  fish  are  oviparous,  this  kind  alone  with  the 
exception  of  the  species  called  the  sea-frog  is 
viviparous,  like  the  creatures  termed  cetaceans. 

XLL  There  is  a  quite  small  fish  that  frequents 
rocks,  called  the  sucking-fish.a  This  is  believed  to 
make  ships  go  more  slowly  by  sticking  to  their  hulls, 
from  which  it  has  received  its  name ;  and  for  this 
reason  it  also  has  an  evil  reputation  for  supplying  a 
love-charm  and  for  acting  as  a  spell  to  hinder  liti- 
gation in  the  courts,  which  accusations  it  counter- 
balances only  by  its  laudable  property  of  stopping 
fluxes  of  the  womb  in  pregnant  women  and  holding 
back  the  offspring  till  the  time  of  birth.  It  is  not 
included  however  among  articles  of  diet.  It  is 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

80  mittitur.     pedes  eum  habere  arbitrantur ;  Aristoteles 
infitias 1  it  apposita  pinnarum  similitudine. 

Mucianus  muricem  esse  latiorem  purpura,  neque 
aspero  neque  rotundo  ore  neque  in  angulos  prodeunte 
rostro  sed  sicut2  concha  utroque  latere  sese  colligente  ; 
quibus  inhaerentibus  plenam  venti  3  stetisse  navem 
portantem  nuntios  a  Periandro  ut  castrarentur 
nobiles  pueri4;  conchasque  quae  id  praestiterint 
apud  Cnidiorum  Venerem  coli.  Trebius  Niger 
pedalem  esse  et  crassitudine  quinque  digitorum, 
naves  morari ;  praeterea  hanc  esse  vim  eius  adservati 
in  sale  ut  aurum  quod  deciderit  in  altissimos  puteos 
admotus  extrahat. 

81  XLII.  Mutant  colorem  candidum  maenae  et  fiunt 
aestate  nigriores.    mutat  et  phycis,  reliquo  tempore 
Candida,  vere  varia.     eadem  piscium  sola  nidificat 
ex  alga  atque  in  nido  parit. 

82  XLIII.  Volat  sane  perquam  similis  volucri  hirundo  5 
item  milvus.     subit  in  summa  maria  piscis  ex  argu- 
mento  appellatus  lucerna,  linguaque  ignea  per  os 
exerta    tranquillis     noctibus     relucet.      attollit     e 
mari  sesquipedanea  fere  cornua  quae  ab  his  nomen 
traxit.    rursus  draco  marinus  captus  atque  immissus 
in  harenam   cavernam   sibi  rostro   mira  celeritate 
excavat. 

83  XLIV.  Piscium  sanguine  carent  de  quibus  dice- 
in  us.     sunt  autem  tria  genera :  primum  quae  mollia 

1  infitias  add.  Mayhoff. 

2  Maylioff :  sic  aut  simplici. 

3  Mayhoff:  ventis. 

4  navem  Periandri  portantem,  ut   castrarentur,  nobiles 
pueros  Mayhoff. 

5  Mayhoff:  hirundini  (v.l.  volat  his  unda  sane). 

a  The  Romans  reckoned  16  digiti  to  the  pes. 
216 


BOOK  IX.  XLI.  79-XLiv.  83 

thought  by  some  to  have  feet,  but  Aristotle  denies 
this,  adding  that  its  limbs  resemble  wings. 

Mucianus  states  that  the  murex  is  broader  than  Varieties  of 
the  purple,  and  has  a  mouth  that  is  not  rough  nor 
round  and  a  beak  that  does  not  stick  out  into 
corners  but  shuts  together  on  either  side  like  a 
bivalve  shell ;  and  that  owing  to  murexes  clinging 
to  the  sides  a  ship  was  brought  to  a  standstill  when 
in  full  sail  before  the  wind,  carrying  despatches 
from  Periander  ordering  some  noble  youths  to  be 
castrated,  and  that  the  shell-fish  that  rendered  this 
service  are  worshipped  in  the  shrine  of  Venus  at 
Cnidus.  Trebius  Niger  says  that  it  is  a  foot  long 
and  four  inches a  wide,  and  hinders  ships,  and  more- 
over that  when  preserved  in  salt  it  has  the  power  of 
drawing  out  gold  that  has  fallen  into  the  deepest 
wells  when  it  is  brought  near  them. 

XLII.  The  maena&  changes  its  white  colour  and 
becomes  blacker  in  summer.  The  lamprey  also 
changes  colour,  being  white  all  the  rest  of  the  time 
but  variegated  in  spring.  Also  it  is  the  only  fish 
that  lays  its  eggs  in  a  nest,  which  it  builds  of  seaweed. 

XLIII.  The  swallow-fish  flies  just  exactly  like  a  other 
bird,  and  so  does  the  kite-fish.    The  fish  on  this species' 
account  called  the  lamp-fish  rises  to  the  surface  of 
the  sea,  and  on  calm  nights  gives  a  light  with  its 
fiery  tongue  which  it  puts  out  from  its  mouth.    The 
fish  that  has  got  its  name  from  its  horns  raises  these 
up  about  18  inches  out  of  the  sea.    The  sea-snake, 
again,  when  caught  and  placed  on  the  sand,  with 
marvellous  rapidity  digs  itself  a  hole  with  its  beak. 

XLIV.  We  will  now  speak  of  the  bloodless  fishes.  skoMes 
Of  these  there  are  three  kinds :  first  those  which  are  ^& 

*  This  species  is  unidentifiable,  as  are  those  in  c.  XLIII. ' 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

appellantur,  dein  contecta  crustis  tenuibus,  postremo 
testis  conclusa  duris.  mollia  sunt  lolligo,  saepia, 
polypus  et  cetera  generis  eius.  his  caput  inter  pedes 
et  ventrem,  pediculi  octoni  omnibus,  saepiae  et 
lolligini  pedes  duo  ex  his  longissimi  et  asperi  quibus 
ad  ora  admovent  cibos  et  in  fluctibus  se  velut  anchoris 
stabiliunt,  ceteri 1  cirri  quibus  venantur. 

84  XLV.  Lolligo  etiam  volitat  extra  aquam  se  efferens, 
quod  et  pectunculi  faciunt,  sagittae  modo.     saepia- 
rum  generis  mares  varii  et  nigriores  constantiaeque 
maioris :     percussae    tridente    feminae  auxiliantur, 
at  femina  icto  mare  fugit.    ambo  autem,  ubi  sensere 
se  adprehendi,  effuso  atramento  quod  pro  sanguine 
his  est  infuscata  aqua  absconduntur. 

85  XLVL  Polyporum  multa  genera,    terreni  maiores 
quam  pelagici.     omnibus  bracchiis  ut  pedibus   ac 
manibus  utuntur,  cauda  vero,  quae  est  bisulca  et 
acuta,  in  coitu.     est  polypis  fistula  in  dorso   qua 
tramittunt  mare,  eamque  modo  in  dexteram  partem, 
modo  in  sinistram  transferunt.     natant  obliqui  in 
caput,  quod  praedurum  est  ut 2  sufflatione  viventibus. 
cetero  per  bracchia  velut  acetabulis  dispersis  haustu 
quodam  adhaerescunt :   tenent  supini  ut  avelli  non 
queant.     vada    non    adprehendunt ;     et    grandibus 

1  Rackham  :  cetera  (circa  MayJioff  cf.  Ar.  rrepl  TO  KVTOS). 

2  ut  add.  Hardouin  coll.  Aristotele. 

a  Aristotle  H.A.  524a  13  vet  8£  TrAaytos  cVt  rfy 
K€^aA^v  e/CT€iycov  TOVS  TTvBas. 

218 


BOOK  IX.  XLIV.  83-xLvi.  85 

called  soft  fish,  then  those  covered  with  thin  rinds, 
and  lastly  those  enclosed  in  hard  shells.  The  soft 
are  the  cuttle-fish,  the  sepia,  the  polyp  and  the  others 
of  that  kind.  They  have  the  head  between  the  feet 
and  the  belly,  and  all  of  them  have  eight  little  feet. 
In  the  sepia  and  cuttle-fish  two  of  these  feet  are 
extremely  long  and  rough,  and  by  means  of  these 
they  carry  food  to  their  mouths,  and  steady  them- 
selves as  with  anchors  in  a  rough  sea ;  but  all  the  rest 
are  feelers  which  they  use  for  catching  their  prey. 

XLV.  The  cuttle-fish  even  flies,  raising  itself  out  The  c 
of  the  water,  as  also  do  the  small  scallops,  like  an 
arrow.  The  males  of  the  genus  sepia  are  variegated 
and  darker  in  colour,  and  they  are  more  resolute: 
when  a  female  is  struck  with  a  trident  they  come  to 
her  assistance,  whereas  a  female  flees  when  a  male 
is  struck.  But  both  sexes  on  perceiving  they  are 
being  caught  hold  of  pour  out  a  dark  fluid  which  these 
animals  have  instead  of  blood,  so  darkening  the  water 
and  concealing  themselves. 

XLVI.  There  are  many  sorts  of  polyp.  The  land  ne  polyp: 
kinds  are  larger  than  the  marine.  They  use  all  their 
arms  as  feet  and  hands,  but  employ  the  tail,  which  is 
forked  and  pointed,  in  sexual  intercourse.  The 
polyps  have  a  tube  in  their  back  through  which  they 
pass  the  sea-water,  and  they  shift  this  now  to  the 
right  side  and  now  to  the  left.  They  swim  with 
their  head  on  one  side,a  this  while  they  are  alive 
being  hard  as  though  blown  out.  Otherwise  they 
remain  adhering  with  a  land  of  suction,  by  means  of 
a  sort  of  suckers  spread  over  their  arms :  throwing 
themselves  backward  they  hold  on  so  that  they 
cannot  be  torn  away.  They  do  not  cling  to  the 
bottom  of  the  sea,  and  have  less  holding-power  when 

219 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

minor  tenacitas.    soli  mollium  in  siccum   exeunt, 

86  dumtaxat    asperum:     levitatem    odere.     vescuntur 
conchyliorum    carne,    quorum    conchas     conplexu 
crinium    frangunt;     itaque    praeiacentibus    testis 
cubile  eorum  deprehenditur.     et  cum  alioqui  brutum 
habeatur  animal,  ut  quod  ad  manum  hominis  adnatet, 
in  re  quodammodo  familiari  callet :  omnia  in  domum 
comportat,  dein  putamina  erosa  carne  egerit  adna- 

87  tantesque  pisciculos  ad  ea  venatur.     colorem  mutat 
ad  similitudinem  loci,  et  maxime  in  metu.     ipsum 
bracchia  sua  rodere  falsa  opinio  est,  id  enim  a  congris 
evenit  ei ;  sed  renasci  sicut  colotis  et  lacertis  caudas 
haut  falsum. 

88  XLVII.  Inter  praecipua  autem  miracula  est  qui 
vocatur   nautilos,    ab    aliis    pompilos.     supinus    in 
summa  aequorum  pervenit,  ita  se  paulatim  absubri- 
gens  ut  emissa  omni  per  fistulam  aqua  velut  exonera- 
tus    sentina    facile    naviget.    postea    prima    duo 
bracchia  retorquens  menabranam  inter  ilia  mirae 
tenuitatis  extendit,  qua  velificante  in  aura  ceteris 
subremigans  bracchiis  media  se  cauda  ut  gubernaculo 
regit.    ita  vadit  alto  Liburnicarum  ludens 1  imagine,2 
si  quid  pavoris  interveniat,  hausta  se  mergens  aqua. 

89      XLVIII.  Polyporum  generis  est  ozaena  dicta  a 


1  v.L  gardens,  sed  cp.  §  94. 

2  imaginem?  ftackham. 


220 


BOOK  IX.  XLVI.  85-XLvm.  89 

full-grown.  They  alone  of  the  soft  creatures  go  out 
of  the  water  on  to  dry  land,  provided  it  has  a  rough 
surface :  they  hate  smooth  surfaces.  They  feed  on 
the  flesh  of  shellfish,  the  shells  of  which  they  break 
by  enfolding  them  with  their  tentacles ;  and  conse- 
quently their  lair  can  be  detected  by  the  shells  lying 
in  front  of  it.  And  though  the  polyp  is  in  other 
respects  deemed  a  stupid  animal,  inasmuch  as  it 
swims  towards  a  man's  hand,  it  has  a  certain  kind  of 
sense  in  its  domestic  economy :  it  collects  everything 
into  its  home,  and  then  after  it  has  eaten  the  flesh 
puts  out  the  refuse  and  catches  the  little  fishes  that 
swim  up  to  it.  It  changes  its  colour  to  match  its 
environment,  and  particularly  when  it  is  frightened. 
The  notion  that  it  gnaws  its  own  arms  is  a  mistake, 
for  this  is  done  to  it  by  the  congers ;  but  the  belief 
that  its  tails  grow  again,  as  is  the  case  with  the  gecko 
and  the  lizard,  is  correct. 

XLVI  I.  But  among  outstanding  marvels  is  the  The 
creature  called  the  nautilus,  and  by  others  the  pilot-  mut 
fish.  Lying  on  its  back  it  comes  to  the  surface  of  the 
sea,  gradually  raising  itself  up  in  such  a  way  that  by 
sending  out  all  the  water  through  a  tube  it  so  to  speak 
unloads  itself  of  bilge  and  sails  easily.  Afterwards  it 
twists  back  its  two  foremost  arms  and  spreads  out 
between  them  a  marvellously  thin  membrane,  and 
with  this  serving  as  a  sail  in  the  breeze  while  it  uses 
its  other  arms  underneath  it  as  oars,  it  steers  itself 
with  its  tail  between  them  as  a  rudder.  So  it  pro- 
ceeds across  the  deep  mimicking  the  likeness  of  a  fast 
cutter,  if  any  alarm  interrupts  its  voyage  submerging 
itself  by  sucking  in  water. 

XLVIII.  One  variety  of  the  polypus  kind  is  the 
stink-polyp,  named  from  the  disagreeable  smell  of  its 


22T 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

gravi  capitis  odore,  ob  hoc  maxime  murenis  earn 
consectantibus. 

Polypi  binis  mensibus  conduntur.  ultra  bimatum 
non  vivunt ;  pereunt  autem  tabe  semper,  feminae 
celerius  et  fere  a  partu. 

Non  sunt  praetereunda  et  L.  Lucullo  proconsule 

90  Baeticae  comperta  de  polypis  quae  Trebius  Niger  e 
comitibus  eius  prodidit :  avidissimos  esse  concharum, 
illas    ad   tactum    comprimi    praecidentes    bracchia 
eorum  ultroque  escam  ex  praedante  capere.     carent 
conchae  visu  omnique  sensu  alio  quam  cibi  et  periculi. 
insidiantur  ergo  polypi  apertis,  impositoque  lapillo 
extra    corpus,   ne  palpitatu    eiciantur;    ita    securi 
grassantur   extrahuntque   carnes;    illae   se   contra 
hunt,    sed    frustra,    discuneatae:     tanta    sollertia 

91  animalium  hebetissimis  quoque  est.    praeterea  negat 
ullum  atrocius  esse  animal  ad  conficiendum  hominem 
in  aqua ;  luctatur  enim  complexu  et  sorbet  acetabulis 
ac    numeroso    suctu    distrahit,1  cum  in  naufragos 
urinantisve    impetum    cepit.    sed    si    invertatur, 
elanguescit   vis;    exporrigunt   enim   se  resupinati. 
cetera  quae  idem  retulit  monstro  propiora  possunt 

92  videri.    Carteiae  in  cetariis  assuetus  exire  e  mairi  in 

1  sic  (cf.  §  27)  ?  Mayhoff:  trahit. 

*  Now  Rocadillo,  in  Spain. 
222 


BOOK  IX.  XLVIII.  89-92 

head,  which  causes  it  to  be  the  special  prey  of  the 
lamprey. 

Polyps  go  into  hiding  for  periods  of  two  months.  The  pol 
They  do  not  live  more  than  two  years ;  but  they  ll^er 
always  die  of  consumption,  the  females  more 
quickly  and  usually  as  a  result  of  bearing  off- 
spring. 

We  must  also  not  pass  over  the  facts  as  to  the  its  diet 
polyp  ascertained  when  Lucius  Lucullus  was  governor  shett^ish' 
of  Baetica,  and  published  by  one  of  his  staff, 
Trebius  Niger;  he  says  that  they  are  extremely 
greedy  for  shell-fish,  and  that  these  close  their  shells 
at  a  touch  and  cut  off  the  polyp's  tentacles,  so  re- 
taliating by  obtaining  food  from  their  would-be 
robber.  Shell-fish  do  not  possess  sight  or  any  other 
sense  except  consciousness  of  food  and  danger. 
Consequently  the  polyps  lie  in  wait  for  the  shell-fish 
to  open,  and  placing  a  stone  between  the  shells,  not 
on  the  fish's  body  so  that  it  may  not  be  ejected  by 
its  throbbing,  thus  go  to  work  at  their  ease,  and  drag 
out  the  flesh,  while  the  shell-fish  try  to  shut  up,  but 
in  vain,  as  they  are  wedged  open :  so  clever  are  even 
the  most  stupid  of  animals.  Moreover  Niger  asserts  The  polyp  a 
that  no  animal  is  more  savage  in  causing  the  death  ^Sf 
of  a  man  in  the  water ;  for  it  struggles  with  him  by 
coiling  round  him  and  swallows  him  with  its  sucker- 
cups  and  drags  him  asunder  by  its  multiple  suction, 
when  it  attacks  men  that  have  been  shipwrecked  or 
are  diving.  But  should  it  be  turned  over,  its  strength 
gets  feebler;  for  when  polyps  are  lying  on  their 
backs  they  stretch  themselves  out.  The  rest  of  the 
facts  reported  by  the  same  authority  may  possibly 
be  thought  to  approximate  to  the  miraculous.  In  A  giant 
the  fishponds  at  Carteia*  a  polyp  was  in  the  habit  of  s^dmen- 

223 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

lacus  eorum  apertos  atque  ibi  salsamenta  popular! , 
— mire    omnibus     marinis     expetentibus     ordorem 
quoque  eorum,  qua  de  causa  et  nassis  inlinuntur, — 
convertit  in  se  custodum  indignationem  assiduitate 
furti  immodicam.1    saepes  erant  obiectae,  sed  has 
transcendebat  per  arborem,  nee  deprehendi  potuit 
nisi  canum  sagacitate.    hi  redeuntem  circumvasere 
noctu,    concitique    custodes    expavere    novitatem : 
primum  omnium  magnitude  inaudita  erat,  deinde 
colos,  muria  obliti,  odore  diri;    quis  ibi  polypum 
exspectasset  aut  ita  cognosceret?      cum  monstro 
dimicare  sibi  videbantur,  namque  et  afflatu  terribili 
canes  angebat,  nunc  extremis  crinibus  flagellatos, 
nunc  robustioribus  bracchiis  clavarum  modo  incussos ; 
&3  aegreque  multis  tridentibus  confici  potuit.    ostendere 
Lucullo  caput  eius  dolii  magnitudine  amphorarum 
xv  capax  atque,  ut  ipsius  Trebi  verbis  utar,  '  barbas 
quas  vix  utroque  bracchio  conplecti  esset,  clavarum 
modo   torosas,  longas   pedum   xxx,  acetabulis   sive 
caliculis  urnalibus  pelvium  modo,  dentes  magnitudini 
respondentes. '    reliquiae  adservatae  miraculo  pepen- 
dere    pondo    DCC.     saepias   ,  quoque    et    lolligines 
eiusdem  magnitudinis  expulsas  in  litus  illud  idem 
auctor  est.    in  nostro  mari  lolligines  quinum  cubi- 
torum  capiuntur,  saepiae  binum.    neque  his  bimatu 
longior  vita. 

1  Mayhoff :  immodicant  aut  -ca. 
224 


BOOK  IX.  XLVIII.  92-93 

getting  into  their  uncovered  tanks  from  the  open  sea 
and  there  foraging  for  salted  fish— even  the  smell  of 
which  attracts  all  sea  creatures  in  a  surprising  way, 
owing  to  which  even  fish-traps  are  smeared  with 
them— and  so  it  brought  on  itself  the  wrath  of  the 
keepers,  which  owing  to  the  persistence  of  the  theft 
was  beyond  all  bounds  Fences  were  erected  in  its 
way,  but  it  used  to  scale  these  by  making  use  of  a 
tree,  and  it  was  only  possible  to  catch  it  by  means 
of  the  keen  scent  of  hounds.  These  surrounded  it 
when  it  was  going  back  at  night,  and  aroused  the 
guards,  who  were  astounded  by  its  strangeness: 
in  the  first  place  its  size  was  unheard  of  and  so  was 
its  colour  as  well,  and  it  was  smeared  with  brine  and 
had  a  terrible  smell ;  who  would  have  expected  to 
find  a  polyp  there,  or  who  would  recognize  it  in  such 
circumstances  ?  They  felt  they  were  pitted  against 
something  uncanny,  for  by  its  awful  breath  it  also 
tormented  the  dogs,  which  it  now  scourged  with  the 
ends  of  its  tentacles  and  now  struck  with  its  longer 
arms,  which  it  used  as  clubs ;  and  with  difficulty  they 
succeeded  in  despatching  it  with  a  number  of  three- 
pronged  harpoons.  They  showed  its  head  to 
Lucullus — it  was  as  big  as  a  cask  and  held  90  gallons, 
— and  (to  use  the  words  of  Trebius  himself)  '  its 
beards  which  one  could  hardly  clasp  round  with  both 
one's  arms,  knotted  like  clubs,  30  ft.  long,  with 
suckers  or  cups  like  basins  holding  three  gallons,  and 
teeth  corresponding  to  its  size/  Its  remains,  kept 
as  a  curiosity,  were  found  to  weigh  700  Ibs.  Trebius  jffe  cvttu~ 
also  states  that  cuttle-fish  of  both  species  of  the 
same  size  have  been  driven  ashore  on  that  coast. 
In  our  own  seas  one  kind  is  taken  that  measures 
1\  ft.  in  length  and  the  other  kind  3  ft.  These  fish 
also  do  not  live  more  than  two  years.  , :. 

225 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

94  XLIX.  Navigeram    similitudinem    et    aliam    in 
Propontide  visam  sibi  prodidit  Mucianus :   concham 
esse  acati  modo  carinatam,  inflexa  puppe,  prora 
rostrata.    in  hanc  condi  nauplium,  animal  saepiae 
simile,    ludendi    societate    sola,     duobus    hoc    fieri 
generibus :     tranquillo     enim    vectorem     demissis 
palmulis  ferire  lit  remis,  si  vero  flatus  invitent,  easdem 
in  usum  gubernaculi  porrigi  pandique  concharum 
sinus  aurae.     huius  voluptatem  esse  ut  ferat,  illius 
ut  regat,  simulque  earn  descendere  in  duo  sensu 
carentia,   nisi  forte — tristi   id    enim   constat   omini 
navigantium — humana  calamitas  in  causa  est. 

95  L.  Locustae  crusta  fragili  muniuntur  in  eo  genera 
quod    caret    sanguine,    latent     mensibus     quinis; 
similiter  cancri  qui  eodem  tempore  occultantur ;    et 
ambo    veris   principio    senectutem    anguium    more 
exuunt    renovatione    tergorum.     cetera    in    undis 
natant,  locustae  reptantium  modo  fluitant ;   si  nullus 
ingruat  metus,  recto  meatu  cornibus  quae  sunt  pro- 
pria    rotunditate    praepilata    ad    latera    porrectis, 
isdem  erectis  in  pavore  oblique  in  latera  procedunt. 
cornibus  inter  se  dimicant.     unum  hoc  animalium, 
nisi  vivum  ferventi  aqua  incoquatur,  fluida  carne  non 

96  habet  callum.     vivunt  petrosis  locis,  cancri  mollibus. 

a  J.e.  the  imitation  of  a  boat ;  cf .  §  88. 
226 


BOOK  IX.  XLIX.  94-L.  96 

XLIX.  Mucianus  has  stated  that  he  has  also  seen  The 
in  the  Dardanelles  another  creature  resembling 
ship  under  sail :  it  is  a  shell  with  a  keel  like  a  boat, 
and  a  curved  stern  and  beaked  bow.  In  this  (he 
says)  the  nauplius,  a  creature  like  the  cuttle-fish, 
secretes  itself,  merely  by  way  of  sharing  the  game.a 
The  manner  in  which  this  takes  place  is  two-fold : 
in  calm  weather  the  carrier  shell  strikes  the  water 
by  dipping  its  flappers  like  oars,  but  if  the  breezes 
invite,  the  same  flappers  are  stretched  out  to  serve 
as  a  rudder  and  the  curves  of  the  shells  are  spread  to 
the  breeze.  The  former  creature  delights  (he  con- 
tinues) to  carry  and  the  latter  to  steer,  and  this 
pleasure  penetrates  two  senseless  things  at  once — 
unless  perhaps  human  calamity  forms  part  of  the 
motive,  for  it  is  an  established  fact  that  this  is  a 
disastrous  omen  for  mariners. 

L.  In  the  bloodless  class,  the  langouste  is  protected  TI* 
by  a  fragile  rind.  Langoustes  stay  in  retirement  for  nffoua  e' 
five  months  in  each  year ;  and  likewise  crabs,  which 
go  into  hiding  at  the  same  season ;  and  both  species 
discard  their  old  age  at  the  beginning  of  spring  in 
the  same  way  as  snakes  do,  by  renewing  their  skins. 
All  other  aquatic  species  swim,  but  langoustes  float 
about  in  the  manner  of  reptiles;  if  no  danger 
threatens  they  go  forward  in  a  straight  course  with 
their  horns,  which  are  buttoned  by  their  own 
rounded  ends,  stretched  out  at  their  sides,  but  at  a 
moment  of  alarm  they  advance  slanting  sideways 
with  their  horns  held  erect.  They  use  their  horns 
in  fighting  one  another.  The  langouste  is  the  only 
animal  whose  flesh  is  of  a  yielding  texture  with  no 
hardness,  unless  it  is  boiled  alive  in  hot  water. 
Langoustes  live  in  rocky  places,  whereas  crabs  live  on 

227 
Q2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

hieme  aprica  litora  sectantur,  aestate  in  opaca 
gurgitum  recedunt.  omnia  eius  generis  hieme 
laeduntur,  autumno  et  vere  pinguescunt,  et  pleni- 
lunio  magiSj  quia  nocte  sidus  tepido  fulgore  mitificat. 
97  LL  Cancrorum  genera  carabi,  astaci,  maeae, 
paguri,  Heracleotici,  leones  et  alia  ignobiliora. 
carabi  cauda  a  ceteris  cancris  distant ;  in  Phoenice 
hippoe  vocantur,  tantae  velocitatis  ut  consequi  non 
sit.  cancris  vita  longa.  pedes  octoni,  omnes  in 
obliquom  flexi;  feminae  primus  pes  duplex,  mari 
simplex,  praeterea  bina  bracchia  denticulatis  for- 
ficibus ;  superior  pars  in  primoribus  his  movetur 
inferiore  immobili.  dexterum  bracchium  omnibus 

98  maius.    universi  aliquando  congregantur.     os  Ponti 
evincere  non  valent,  quamobrem  egressi  circumeunt 
apparetque  tritum   iter.    pinoteres   vocatur   minu- 
mus   ex   omni   genere,  ideo   opportunus     iniuriae. 
huic    sollertia    est    inanium    ostrearum    testis    se 
condere    et    cum    adcreverit    migrare    in    capaci- 

99  ores,     cancri  in  pavore  et  retrorsi  pain  veloeitate 
redeunt.     dimicant    inter    se    ut    arietes,    adversis 
cornibus  incursantes.     contra  serpentium  ictus  me- 
dentur.    sole  cancri  signum  trans eunte  et  ipsorum, 
cum  exanimati  sint,  corpus  transfigurari  in  scorpiones 
narratur  in  sicco.       ;  , 

'0/.HI09. 

1  The  comoKon  ora^^    the  identifications  of  the  varieties 
thafe  follow  are  dubious,  ; 


BOOK  IX.  L.  96-Li.  99 

soft  mud.  In  winter  they  haunt  sunny  shores,  but 
in  summer  they  retire  into  the  dim  depths  of  the  sea. 
All  creatures  of  this  class  suffer  in  winter,  but  get 
fat  in  autumn  and  spring,  and  more  so  at  full  moon, 
"because  the  moon  mellows  them  with  its  warm  glow 
by  night.a 

LI.  The  kinds  of  crab  are  the  carabusf  the  crayfish,  varieties 
,the  spider-crab,  the  hermit-crab,  the  Heraclean  crab,  °fcrab- 
the  lion-crab  and  other  inferior  species.  The  carabus 
differs  from  the  other  crabs  by  its  tail ;  in  Phoenicia 
it  is  called  the  horse-crab,  being  so  swift  that  it  is  im- 
possible to  overtake  it.  Crabs  are  long-lived.  They 
have  eight  feet,  all  curved  crooked;  the  front  foot 
is  double  in  the  female  and  single  in  the  male.  They 
also  have  two  claws  with  denticulated  nippers ;  the 
upper  half  of  the  forepart  of  these  moves  and  the 
lower  half  is  fixed.  The  right  claw  is  the  larger  in 
every  specimen.  Sometimes  crabs  allcollect  together 
in  a  flock.  They  cannot  make  the  mouth  of  the 
Black  ,Sea  against  the  current,  and  consequently 
when  they  are  going  out  of  it  they  travel  round  in 
a  circle  and  appear  to  be  following  a  beaten  track. 
The  one  called  the  pea-crab  is  the  smallest  of  the 
whole  tribe,  and  consequently  very  liable  to  injury. 
It  has  the  cunning  to  stow  itself  in  empty  bivalve 
shells  and  to  shift  into  roomier  ones  as  it  grows 
bigger.  When  alarmed  crabs  can  retreat  back- 
wards with  equal  speed.  They  fight  duels  with  one 
another  like  rams,  charging  with  horns  opposed. 
They  afford  a  remedy  against  snake-bite.  It  is 
related  that  when  the  sun  is  passing  through  the 
sign  of  Cancer  the  bodies  of  crabs  also  when  they 
expire  are  transformed  into  scorpions  during,  the 
drought. 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

100  Ex  eodem  genere  sunt  echini  quibus  spinae  pro 
pedibus.    ingredi   est  his   in  orbem  volvi,   itaque 
detritis  saepe  aculeis  inveniuntur.     ex  his  echino- 
metrae  appellantur  quorum  spinae  longissimae,  caly- 
ces minimi,    nee  omnibus  idem  vitreus  colos :  circa 
Toronem  candidi  nascuntur  spina  parva.     ova  om- 
nium amara,  quina  numero.     ora  in  medio  corpore 
in  terram  versa,    tradunt  saevitiam  maris  praesagire 
eos  correptisque  opperiri  lapillis  mobilitatem  pondere 
stabilientes :     nolunt   volutatione    spinas    atterere ; 
quod  ubi  videre  nautici,  statim  pluribus   anchoris 
navigia  infrenant. 

101  In  eodem  genere  cocleae  aquatiles  terrestresque 
exerentes  se  domicilio  binaque  ceu  cornua  protend- 
entes  contrahentesque.    oculis  carent,  itaque  corni- 
culis  praetemptant  iter. 

Pectines  in  mari  ex  eodem  genere  habentur, 
reconditi  et  ipsi  magnis  frigoribus  ac  magnis  aestibus, 
unguesque  velut  igne  lucent es  in  tenebris,  etiam  in 
ore  mandentium. 

102  LIL  Firmioris  iam  testae  murices  et  concharum 
genera,  in  quibus  magna  ludentis  naturae  varietas : 
tot  colorum  differentiae,  tot  figurae,  planis,  concavis, 
longis,  lunatis,  in  orbem  circumactis,  dimidio  orbe 
caesis,  in  dorsum  elatis,  levibus,  rugatis,  denticulatis, 
striatis ;  vertice  muricatim  intorto,  margine  in  mucro- 

*  In  point  of  fact  they  have  black  eyes  unfolded  with  the 
horns* 

230 


BOOK    IX.   LI.    IOO-LII.    102 

The  sea-urchin,  which  has  spines  instead  of  feet,  The  echinus. 
belongs  to  the  same  genus.  These  creatures  can 
only  go  forward  by  rolling  over  and  over,  and 
consequently  they  are  often  found  with  their 
prickles  worn  off.  Those  of  them  with  the  longest 
spines  are  called  echinus  cidaris,  and  the  smallest 
are  called  cups.  They  have  not  all  the  same 
transparent  colour :  in  the  district  of  Torone  some 
are  born  white,  with  a  small  spine.  The  eggs  of  all 
have  a  bitter  taste ;  they  are  laid  in  clutches  of  five. 
Their  mouths  are  in  the  middle  of  their  body,  on  the 
under  side.  It  is  said  that  they  can  forecast  a  rough 
sea  and  that  they  take  the  precaution  of  clutching 
stones  and  steadying  their  mobility  by  the  weight : 
they  do  not  want  to  wear  away  their  spines  by  rolling 
about.  When  sailors  see  them  doing  this  they  at 
once  secure  their  vessels  with  more  anchors. 

In  the  same  family  are  water  and  land  snails,  that  The  snail 
protrude  out  of  their  abode  and  shoot  out  and  draw  c  ass' 
in  two  horns  as  it  were.    They  have  no  eyes,a  and 
consequently  explore  the  way  in  front  of  them  with 
their  little  horns. 

Sea-scallops  are  held  to  belong  to  the  same  class, 
which  also  retire  into  hiding  at  seasons  of  extreme 
cold  and  extreme  heat;  and  piddocks,  which  shine 
as  if  with  fire  in  dark  places,  even  in  the  mouth  of 
persons  eating  them. 

LII.   We   now   come   to   the   purples    and  the  Purples  and 
varieties  of  shell-fish,  which  have  a  stronger  shell.  $£.  shell~ 
The  latter  display  in  great  variety  nature's  love  of 
sport :  they  show  so  many  differences  of  colour,  and 
also  of  shape — being  flat,  hollow,  long,  crescent- 
shaped,   circular,   semi-circular,   humped,   smooth, 
wrinkled,  serrated,  furrowed;   with  the  crest  bent 

251 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

103  nem  ernisso,  foris  .effuso,  intus  replicato ;    iam  dis- 
tinctione    virgulata,    crinita,    crispa,    canaliculalim, 
pectinatim   divisa,  imbricatim  undata,   cancellatim 
reticulata,  in  obliquum,  in  rectum  expansa,  densata, 
porrecta,  sinuata;    brevi  nodo  ligatis,  toto  latere 
conexis,  ad  plausum  apertis,  ad  bucinam  1  recurvis. 
navigant  ex  his  Veneriae,  praebentesque  concavam 
sui  partem  et  aurae  opponentes  per  summa  aequorum 
velificant.     saliunt  pectines  et  extra  volitant,  seque 
et  ipsi  carinant. 

104  LIIL  Sed    quid    haec   tarn    parva    commemoro, 
cum  populatio  morum  atque  luxuria  non  ajiunde 
maior  quam  e  concharum  genere  proveniat?     iam 
quidem    ex    tota    rerum    natura    damnosissimum 
ventri  mare  est  tot  modis,  tot  mensis,  tot  piscium 

105  saporibus  quis  pretia  capientium  periculo  fiunt.     sed 
quota  haec  portio  est  reputantibus  purpuras,  con- 
chylia,  margaritas  !  parum  scilicet  fuerat  in  gulas 
condi  maria,  nisi  manibus,  auribus,  capite  totoque 
corpore  a  feminis  iuxta  virisque  gestarentur.     quid 
mari  cum  vestibus,   quid  undis  fluctibusque  cum 
vellere?    non  recte  recipit  haec  nog' rerum  natura 
nisi  nudos  1     esto?  sit  tanta  ventri  cum  eo  societag : 

1  Eddf : 
252 


BOOK  IX.  LII.  102-Liii.  105 

into  the  shape  of  a  purple,  the  edge  projecting 
into  a  sharp  point,  or  spread  outwards,  or  folded 
inwards ;  and  again  picked  out  with  stripes  or  with 
flowing  locks  or  with  curls,  or  parted  in  little  channels 
or  like  the  teeth  of  a  comb,  or  corrugated  like  tiles, 
or  reticulated  into  lattice-work,  or  spread  out  slant- 
wise or  straight,  close-packed,  diffused,  curled; 
tied  up  in  a  short  knot,  or  linked  up  all  down  the  side, 
or  opened  so  as  to  shut  with  a  snap,  or  curved  so  as 
to  make  a  trumpet.  Of  this  species  the  Venus-shell 
sails  like  a  ship,  and  projecting  its  hollow  portion  and 
setting  it  to  catch  the  wind  goes  voyaging  over  the 
surface  of  the  water.  The  scallop  gives  a  leap  and 
soars  out  of  the  water,  and  it  also  uses  its  own  shell  as 
a  boat.  , 

LIIL  But  why  do  I  mention  these  trifles  when  their 
moral  corruption  and  luxury  spring  from  no  other  S< 
source  in  greater  abundance  than  from  the  genus  corruption. 
shell-fish  ?  It  is  true  that  of  the  whole  of  nature 
the  sea  is  most  detrimental  to  the  stomach  in  a 
multitude  of  ways,  with  its  multitude  of  dishes 
and  of  appetizing  kinds  of  fish  to  which  the  profits 
made  by  those  who  catch  them  spell  danger.  But 
what  proportion  do  these  form  when  we  con- 
sider purple  and  scarlet  robes  and  pearls !  It  had 
been  insufficient,  forsooth,  for  the  seas  to  be 
stowed  into  our  gullets,  were  they  not  carried  on 
the  hands  and  in  the  ears  and  on  the  head  and  all 
over  the  body  of  women  and  men  alike.  What 
connexion  is  there  between  the  sea  and  our  clothing, 
between  the  waves  and  waters'  and  woollen  fabric  ? 
We  only  enter  that  element  in  a  proper  manner 
when  we  are  naked !  Granted  thai;  there  is  so 
close  an  alliance  between  it  and  our  stomach,  but 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

quid  tergori !  parum  est  nisi  qui  vescimur  periculis 
etiam  vestiamur?  adeo  per  totum  corpus  anima 
hominis  quaesita  maxime  placent? 

106  LIV.  Principium  ergo  columenque  omnium  rerum 
preti  margaritae  tenant.    Indicus  maxime  has  mittit 
oceanus   inter   illas    beluas    tales    tantasque    quas 
diximus  per  tot  maria  venientes  tarn  longo  terrarum 
tractu  e  tantis  solis  ardoribus.    atque  Indis  quoque 
in  insulas  petuntur  et  admodum  paucas :  fertilissima 
est  Taprobane  et  Stoidis,  ut  diximus  in  circuitu 
mundi,  item  Perimula  promunturium  Indiae ;   prae- 
cipue  autem  laudantur  circa  Arabiam  in  Persico 
sinu  maris  Rubri. 

107  Origo  atque  genitura  conchae  sunt 1  haut  multum 
ostrearum   conchis   differentes.2     has   ubi  genitalis 
anni  stimulavit  hora,pandentes  se  quadam  oscitatione 
impleri  roscido  conceptu  tradunt,  gravidas  postea 
eniti,  partumque   concharum  esse  margaritas,   pro 
qualitate  roris  accepti :  si  purus  influxerit,  candorem 
conspici,   si   vero   turbid  us,    et   fetum    sordescere. 
eundem  pallere  caelo  minante:    conceptum  ex  eo 
quippe  constare,  caelique  eis  maiorem  societatem 
esse  quam  maris,  inde  nubilum  trahi  colorem  aut  pro 

108  claritate  matutina  serenum.     si  tempestive  satientur 
grandescere  et  partus.     si  fulguret,  comprimi  con- 

1  MayTioff:  est.  2  Mayhoff:  different. 


0  See  §§  4  f.  above.  *  VI  81  and  110. 

c  The  story  is  of  course  imaginary. 


234 


BOOK  IX.  LIII.  105-Liv.  108 

what  has  it  to  do  with  our  backs  ?  Are  we  not 
content  to  feed  on  dangers  without  also  being  clothed 
with  them?  Is  it  that  the  rule  that  we  get  most 
satisfaction  from  luxuries  costing  a  human  life  to 
procure  holds  good  for  the  whole  of  our  anatomy  ? 

LIV.  The  first  place  therefore  and  the  topmost  Pearl*- 
rank  among  all  things  of  price  is  held  by  pearls. 
These  are  sent  chiefly  by  the  Indian  Ocean,  among 
the  huge  and  curious  animals  that  we  have  described  a 
as  coming  across  all  those  seas  over  that  wide 
expanse  of  lands  from  those  burning  heats  of  the 
sun.  And  to  procure  them  for  the  Indians  as  well, 
men  go  to  the  islands — and  those  quite  few  in 
number:  the  most  productive  is  Ceylon,  and  also 
Stoidis,  as  we  said 6  in  our  circuit  of  the  world,  and  also 
the  Indian  promontory  of  Perimula ;  but  those  round 
Arabia  on  the  Persian  Gulf  of  the  Red  Sea  are 
specially  praised. 

The  source  and  breeding-ground  of  pearls  are  The  pearl- 
shells  not  much  differing  from  oyster-shells.  These,  ^ 
we  are  told,c  when  stimulated  by  the  generative  season 
of  the  year  gape  open  as  it  were  and  are  filled  with 
dewy  pregnancy,  and  subsequently  when  heavy  are 
delivered,  and  the  offspring  of  the  shells  are  pearls 
that  correspond  to  the  quality  of  the  dew  received : 
if  it  was  a  pure  inflow,  their  brilliance  is  conspicuous 
but  if  it  was  turbid,  the  product  also  becomes  dirty  in 
colour.  Also  if  the  sky  is  lowering  (they  say)  the  pearl 
is  pale  in  colour :  for  it  is  certain  that  it  was  conceived 
from  the  sky,  and  that  pearls  have  more  connexion 
with  the  sky  than  with  the  sea,  and  derive  from  it  a 
cloudy  hue,  or  a  clear  one  corresponding  with  a 
brilliant  morning.  If  they  are  well  fed  in  due  season, 
the  offspring  also  grows  in  size.  If  there  is  lightning, 

235 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

chas  ac  pro  ieiunii  modo  minui ;  si  vero  etiam  tonue- 
rit,  pavidas  ac  repente  compressas  quae  vocant  physe- 
mata  efficere,  specie  modo  inani  inflatas  sine  corpore ; 
hos  esse  concharum  abortus,  sard  quidern  partus 
multiplici  constant  cute,  non  improprie  callum  ut 
existimari  corporis  possit;  itaque  expurgantur  a 

109  peritis.     miror  ipso  tantum  eas  caelo  gaudere,  sole 
rubescere  candoremque  perdere  ut  corpus  humanum ; 
quare  praecipuum  custodiunt  pelagiae,  altius  mersae 
quam  ut  penetrent  radii ;  flavescunt  tamen  et  illae 
senecta   rugisque   torpescunt,   nee   nisi   in  iuventa 
constat  ille  qui  quaeritur  vigor.1     crassescunt  etiam 
in  senecta  conchisque  adhaerescunt,  nee  his  evelli 
queunt  nisi  lima,    quibus  una  tantum  est  facies  et  ab 
ea  rotunditas,   aversis   planities,    ob   id   tympania 
nominantur;  cohaerentes  vidimus2  in  conchis,  hac 
dote   unguenta   circumferentibus.     cetero   in   acjua 
mollis  unio,  exemptus  protinus  durescit. 

110  LV.  Concha  ipsa  cum  manum  vidit  comprimit  sese 
operitque  opes   suas   gnara  propter  illas   se   peti, 
manumque,  si  praeveniat,  acie  sua  abscidat  nulla 
iustlore  poena,  et  aliis  munita  suppliciis,  quippe  inter 
scopulos  maior  pars  invenitur,  sed  in  alto  quoque 
comitantibus 3  marinis  canibus;    nee  tarqen  auj-es 

HI  feminarum  arcentur.     quidam  tradunt  sicut'api^us 

1  An  nitor  ?  Mayhoff.  2  Hardouin  ;  videioiiis. 

3  Mayhoff: 


dayhoff:  comitantur. 
0  Le,  skarks. 


236 


BOOK  IX.  LIV.  io8-Lv.  in 

the  shells  shut  up,  and  diminish  in  size  in  proportion 
to  their  abstinence  from  food ;  but  if  it  also  thunders 
they  are  frightened  and  shut  up  suddenly,  producing 
what  are  called  '  wind-pearls,'  which  are  only  inflated 
with  an  empty,  unsubstantial  show:  these  are  the 
pearls'  miscarriages.  Indeed  a  healthy  offspring  is 
formed  with  a  skin  of  many  thicknesses,  so  that  it 
may  not  improperly  be  considered  as  a  hardening  of 
the  body ;  and  consequently  experts  subject  them  to 
a  cleansing  process.  I  am  surprised  that  though 
pearls  rejoice  so  much  in  the  actual  sky,  they  redden 
and  lose  their  whiteness  in  the  sun,  like  the  human 
body;  consequently  sea-pearls  preserve  a  special 
brilliance,  being  too  deeply  immersed  for  the  rays  to 
penetrate ;  nevertheless  even  they  get  yellow  from 
age  and  doze  off  with  wrinkles,  and  the  vigour  that 
is  sought  after  is  only  found  in  youth.  Also  in  old 
age  they  get  thick  and  stick  to  the  shells,  and  cannot 
be  torn  out  of  these  except  by  using  a  file.  Pearls  with 
only  one  surface,  and  round  on  that  side  but  flat  at 
the  back,  are  consequently  termed  tambourine  pearls ; 
we  have  seen  them  clustering  together  in  shells  that 
owing  to  this  enrichment  were  used  for  carrying  round 
perfumes.  For  the  rest,  a  large  pearl  is  soft  when  in 
the  water  but  gets  hard  as  soon  as  it  is  taken  out. 

LV.  When  a  shell  sees  a  hand  it  shuts  itself  up  Dmng 
and  conceals  its  treasures,  as  it  knows  that  it  is  pearlSt 
sought  for  on  their  account;    and  if  the  hand  is 
inserted  first  it  cuts  it  off  with  its  sharp  edge,  the 
most  just  penalty  possible — for  it  is  armed  with 
other  penalties  also,  as  for  the  most  part  it  is  found 
among  rocks,  while  even  in  deep  water  it  has  sea- 
dogs  a  in  attendance — yet  nevertheless  these  do  not 
protect  it  against  women's  ears!    Some  accounts 

237 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

ita  concharum  examinibus  singulas  magnitudine  et 
vetustate  praecipuas  esse  veluti  duces  mirae  ad 
cavendum  sollertiae ;  has  urinantium  cura  peti,  illis 
captis  facile  ceteras  palantes  retibus  includi,  multo 
demde  obrutas  sale  in  vasis  fictilibus;  rosa  carne 
omni  nucleos  quosdam  corporum,  hoc  est  uniones, 
decidere  in  ima. 

112  LVL  Usu   atteri   non   dubium    est,    coloremque 
indiligentia  mutare.    dos  omnis  in  candore,  magni- 
tudine, orbe,  levore,  pondere,  haut  promptis  rebus 
in   tantum   ut    nulli    duo    reperiantur    indiscreti: 
unde  nomen  unionum  Romanae  scilicet  imposuere 
deliciae,  nam  id  apud  Graecos  non  est,  nee  apud 
barbaros  quidem,  inventores  rei1  eius,  aliud  quam 

113  margaritae.     et  in  candore  ipso  magna  differentia; 
clarior  in  Rubro  mari  repertis,  in 2  Indico  specu- 
larium  lapidum  squamas  adsimulant,3  alias  magni- 
tudine praecellentes.     summa  laus  coloris  est  exalu- 
minatos   vocari.     et   procerioribus    sua   gratia    est. 
elenchos  appellant  fastigata  longitudine  alabastrorum 

114=  figura  in  pleniorem  orbem  desinentes.  hos  digitis 
suspendere  et  binos  ac  ternos  auribus  feminarum 
gloria  estj  subeuntque  luxuriae  eius  nomina  externa,4 
exquisita  perdito  nepotatu,  siquidem,  cum  id  fecere, 
crotalia  appellant,  ceu  sono  quoque  gaudeant  et 

1  rei  add.  Mayhoff.  2  in  add.  Mayhoff. 

8  Mayhoff :  adsimulat.       4  Mayhoff :  nomina  et  taedia. 

0  The  Persian  Gulf  is  meant ;  c/.  §  106. 
238 


BOOK  IX.  LV.  III-LVI.  114 

say  that  clusters  of  shells  like  bees  have  one  of  their 
number,  a  specially  large  and  old  shell,  as  their 
leader,  one  marvellously  skilful  in  taking  precau- 
tions; and  that  these  leader-shells  are  diligently 
sought  for  by  pearl-divers,  as  when  they  are  caught 
all  the  rest  stray  about  and  easily  get  shut  up  in  the 
nets,  subsequently  a  quantity  of  salt  being  poured 
over  them  in  earthenware  jars;  this  eats  away  all 
the  flesh,  and  a  sort  of  kernels  in  their  bodies,  which 
are  pearls,  fall  to  the  bottom. 

LVL  There  is  no  doubt  that  pearls  are  worn  away  varieties  in 
by  use,  and  that  lack  of  care  makes  them  change  ^^J  tjv* 
their  colour.  Their  whole  value  lies  in  their  bril- 
liance, size,  roundness,  smoothness  and  weight, 
qualities  of  such  rarity  that  no  two  pearls  are  found 
that  are  exactly  alike :  this  is  doubtless  the  reason 
why  Roman  luxury  has  given  them  the  name  of 
'  unique  gems,'  the  word  unto  not  existing  in  Greece, 
and  indeed  among  foreign  races,  who  discovered  this 
fact,  the  only  name  for  them  is  margarita.  There  is 
also  a  great  variety  in  their  actual  brilliance ;  it  is 
brighter  with  those  found  in  the  Red  Sea,a  whereas 
those  found  in  the  Indian  Ocean  resemble  flakes  of 
mica,  though  they  excel  others  in  size.  The  highest 
praise  given  to  their  colour  is  for  them  to  be  called 
alum-coloured.  The  longer  ones  also  have  a  charm 
of  their  own.  Those  that  end  in  a  wider  circle, 
tapering  lengthwise  in  the  shape  of  perfume-caskets, 
are  termed  *  probes. '  Women  glory  in  hanging  these 
on  their  fingers  and  using  two  or  three  for  a  single- 
earring,  and  foreign  names  for  this  luxury  occur, 
names  invented  by  abandoned  extravagance,  inas- 
much as  when  they  have  done  this  they  call  them 
*  castanets,'  as  if  they  enjoyed  even  the  sound  and 

239 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

collisu  ipso  margaritarum ;  cupiuntque  iam  et 
pauperes,  lictorem  feminae  in  publico  unionem  esse 
dictitantes.  quin  et  pedibus,  nee  crepidarum 
tantum  obstragulis  set  totis  socculis  addunt.  neque 
enim  gestare  iam  margaritas  nisi  calcent  ac  per 
uniones  etiam  ambulent,  satis  est. 

115  In  nostro  mari  reperiri  solebant,  crebrius  cirOa  Bos- 
porum  Thracium,  rufi  ac  parvi  in  conchis  quas  myas 
appellant,     at   in   Acarnania    quae   vocatur   pina 1 
gignit ;    quo  apparet  non  in  2  uno  conchae  genere 
nasci,  namque  et  luba  tradit  Arabicis  concham  esse 
similem  pectini  insecto,  hirsutam  echinorum  modo, 
ipsum  unionem  in  carne  grandini  similem ;  conchae 
non  tales  ad  nos  afferuntur.    nee  in  Acarnania  ante  3 
laudati    reperiuntur,    enormes    et    fere 4    colons 5 
naarmorei.    meliores  circa  Actium,  sed  et  hi  parvi^ 
et  in  Mauretaniae  maritimis.    Alexander  polyhistor 
et  Sudines  senescere  eos  putant  coloremque  expirarel 

116  LVII.   Firmum 6    corpus    esse    manifestum    est, 
quod  nullo  lapsu  franguntur.    non  autem  semper  in 
media  carne  reperiuntur  sed  aliis  atque  aliis  locis, 
vidimusque  iam  in  extremis  etiam  marginibus  velut 
e  concha  exeunt es,  et  in  quibusdam  quaternos  qui- 
nosque.     pondus    ad    hoc    aevi    semunciae    pauci 

1  Sittig :  pinna. 

2  in  add.  Mackhym. 

3  aoite  edd, :  autem. 

4  fere  eddf :  feri. 

6  coloris  t  Brotier  :  colorisque. 
*  *  MayJioffi  eorum. 

240 


BOOK  IX.  LVI.  H4-LVII.  116 

the  mere  rattling  together  of  the  pearls ;  and  now-a- 
days  even  poor  people  covet  them — it  is  a  common 
saying  that  a  pearl  is  as  good  as  a  lackey  for  a  lady 
when  she  walks  abroad  1  And  they  even  use  them 
on  their  feet,  and  fix  them  not  only  to  the  laces 
of  their  sandals  but  all  over  their  slippers.  In  fact, 
by  this  time  they  are  not  content  with  wearing 
pearls  unless  they  tread  on  them,  and  actually  walk 
on  these  unique  gems! 

There  used  to  be  commonly  found  in  our  own  sea,  provenance 
and  more  frequently  on  the  coasts  of  the  Thracian  of  pearls, 
Bosphorus,  small  red  gems  contained  in  the  shells 
called  mussels.  But  in  Acarnania  there  grows  what 
is  termed  the  sea-pen;  which  shows  that  pearls  are 
not  born  in  only  one  kind  of  shell,  for  Juba  also 
records  that  the  Arabs  have  a  shell  resembling  a 
toothed  comb,  that  bristles  like  a  hedgehog,  and  has 
an  actual  pearl,  resembling  a  hailstone,  in  the  fleshy 
part;  this  kind  of  shell  is  not  imported  to  Rome. 
And  there  are  not  found  in  Acarnania  the  formerly 
celebrated  pearls  of  an  exceptional  size  and  almost 
a  marble  colour.  Better  ones  are  found  round 
Actium,  but  these  too  are  small,  and  in  sea-board 
Mauretania.  Alexander  the  Encyclopaedist  and 
Sudines  think  that  they  grow  old  and  let  their  colour 
evaporate. 

LVII.  It  is  clear  that  they  are  of  a  firm  substance,  Position  in, 
because  no  fall  can  break  them.    Also  they  are  noit]tes7teUt 
always  found  in  the  middle  of  the  flesh,  but  in  a 
variety  of  places,  and  before  now  we  have  seen  them 
even  at  the  extreme  edges,  as  though  in  the  act  of 
passing  out  of  the  shell ;  and  in  some  cases  we  have 
seen  four  or  five  pearls  in  one  shell.    In  weight  few 
specimens  have  hitherto  exceeded  half  an,  ounce  by 

241 

VOL.  III.  R 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

singulis  scripulis  excessere.  in  Britannia  parvos 
atque  decolores  nasci  certum  est,  quoniam  divus 
luh'us  thoracem  quern  Veneri  Genetrici  in  templo 
eius  dicavit  ex  Britannicis  margaritisfactumvoluerit 
intellegi. 

117  LVIII.  Lolliam  Paulinam,  quae  fuit  Gai  principis 
matrona,  ne  serio  quidem  aut  sollemni  caerimoniarum 
aliquo  apparatu  sed  mediocrium  etiam  sponsalium 
cena  vidi  smaragdis  margaritisque  opertam  alterno 
textu    fulgentibus   toto    capite,    crinibus,    [spira] 1 
auribus,  collo,  [monilibus] 2    digitis,  quae 3    summa 
quadringenties  sestertium  colligebat,  ipsa  confestim 
parata  mancupationem  tabulis  probare ;    nee  dona 
prodigi  principis  fuerant,  sed  avitae  opes,  provinci- 

118  arum    scilicet    spoliis    partae.    hie    est    rapinarum 
exitus,  hoc  fuit  quare  M.  Lollius  infamatus  regum 
muneribus  in  toto  oriente  interdicta  amicitia  a  C. 
Caesare  August!  filio  venenum  biberet,  ut  neptis 
eius  quadringenties  HS  operta  spectaretur  ad  lucer- 
nas !  computet  nunc  aliquis  ex  altera  parte  quantum 
Curius  aut  Fabricius  in  triumphis  tulerint,  imaginetur 
illorum  fercula,  et  ex  altera  parte  Lolliam  unam 
imperatori4    mulierculam    accubantem:     non    illos 

119  curru  detractos  quam  in  hoc  vicisse  malit  ?  nee  haec 
summa  luxuriae  exempla  sunt.     duo  fuere  maximi 
uniones    per    omne    aevum ;     utrumque    possedit 
Cleopatra  Aegypti  reginarum  novissima  per  manus 

1  Friedlaender.  2  Iriedlaender. 

3  Mayhoff :  que.  4  Dalecamp  :  imperil. 

a  They  are  found  occasionally  in  the  ordinary  mussel, 
oyster  and  pinna,  but  especially  in  the  common  fresh- water 
mussel. 

*  Say  a  third  of  a  million  pounds  gold. 
242 


BOOK  IX.  LVII.  ii6-Lvm.  119 

more  than  one  scruple.  It  is  established  that  small 
pearls  of  poor  colour  grow  in  Britain,a  since  the  late 
lamented  Julius  desired  it  to  be  known  that  the 
breastplate  which  he  dedicated  to  Venus  Genetrix 
in  her  temple  was  made  of  British  pearls. 

LVIII.  I  have  seen  Lollia  Paulina,  who  became  Pearls  of 
the  consort  of  Gams,  not  at  some  considerable  or  eS^Qml 
solemn  ceremonial  celebration  but  actually  at  an 
ordinary  betrothal  banquet,  covered  with  emeralds 
and  pearls  interlaced  alternately  and  shining  all  over 
her  head,  hair,  ears,  neck  and  fingers,  the  sum  total 
amounting  to  the  value  of  40,000,000  sesterces,6  she 
herself  being  ready  at  a  moment's  notice  to  give 
documentary  proof  of  her  title  to  them ;  nor  had  they 
been  presents  from  an  extravagant  emperor,  but 
ancestral  possessions,  acquired  in  fact  with  the  spoil 
of  the  provinces.  This  is  the  final  outcome  of 
plunder,  it  was  for  this  that  Marcus  Lollius  disgraced 
himself  by  taking  gifts  from  kings  in  the  whole  of 
the  East,  and  was  cut  out  of  his  list  of  friends 
by  Gaius  Caesar  son  of  Augustus  and  drank  poison 
— that  his  granddaughter  should  be  on  show  in  the 
lamplight  covered  with  40,000,000  sesterces!  Now 
let  some  one  reckon  up  on  one  side  of  the  account 
how  much  Curius  or  Fabricius  carried  in  their 
triumphs,  and  picture  to  himself  the  spoils  they 
displayed,  and  on  the  other  side  Lollia,  a  single  little 
lady  recHning  at  the  Emperor's  side — and  would  he 
not  think  it  better  that  they  should  have  been  dragged 
from  their  chariots  than  have  won  their  victories  with 
this  result  ?  Nor  are  these  the  topmost  instances  of 
luxury.  There  have  been  two  pearls  that  were  the  Cleopatra?* 
largest  in  the  whole  of  history ;  both  were  owned  by  peaT  ' 
Cleopatra,  the  last  of  the  Queens  of  Egypt — they 

243 

R2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

orientis  regum  sibi  traditos.  haec,  cum  exquisitis 
cotidie  Antoiiius  saginaretur  epulis,  superbo  simul 
ac  procaci  fastu,  ut  regina  meretrix,  lautitiam  eius 
apparatumque  omnem1  obtrectans,  quaerente  eo 
quid  adstrui  magniiicentiae  posset  respondit  mu  se 

J20  cena  centiens  HS  2  absumpturam.  cupiebat  discere 
Antonius,  sed  fieri  posse  non  arbitrabatur.  ergo 
sponsionibus  factis  postero  die,  quo  iudicium  age- 
batur,  magnincam  alias  cenam,  ne  dies  periret,  sed 
cotidianam,  Antonio  apposuit  inridenti  computa- 
tionemque  expostulanti.  at  ilia  corollarium  id 
esse,  et  consurnmaturam  3  earn  cenam  4  taxationem 
confirmans  solamque  se  centiens  HS  cenaturam, 
inferri  mensam  secundam  iussit.  ex  praecepto 
ministri  unum  tantum  vas  ante  earn  posuere  aceti, 
cuius  asperitas  visque  in  tabem  margaritas  resolvit. 

121  gerebat  auribus  cum  maxime  singulare  illud  et  vere 
unicum  naturae  opus,  itaque  expectante  Antonio 
quidnam  esset  actura  detractum  alterum  mersit  ac 
liquefactum  obsorbuit.  iniecit  alteri  manum  L. 
Plancus,  iudex  sponsionis  eius,  eum  quoque  parante 
simili  modo  absumere,  victumque  Antorrium  pro- 
nuntiavit  omine  rato.  comitatur  fama  unionis  eius 
parem,  capta  ilia  tantae  quaestionis  victrice  regina, 

1  omnem  hie  ?  Mayhoff:  ante  apparatumque. 

2  centiens  HS  add.  edd. 

3  MayJioff(cf.  viii.  183) :  consumpturam. 

4  se  in  ea  cena  edd. 

0  Of.  XI 14  nuHus  pent  otio  dies. 

6  No  such  vinegar  exists  ,*  Cleopatra  no  doubt  swallowed  the 
pearl  in  vinegar  knowing  that  it  could  be  recovered  later  on. 

244 


BOOK   IX.  LVIII.  119-121 

had  come  down  to  her  through  the  hands  of  the 
Kings  of  the  East.  When  Antony  was  gorging  daily  at 
recherche  banquets,  she  with  a  pride  at  once  lofty  and 
insolent,  queenly  wanton  as  she  was,  poured  contempt 
on  all  his  pomp  and  splendour,  and  when  he  asked 
what  additional  magnificence  could  be  contrived, 
replied  that  she  would  spend  10,000,000  sesterces  on 
a  single  banquet.  Antony  was  eager  to  learn  how 
it  could  be  done,  although  he  thought  it  was  impos- 
sible. Consequently  bets  were  made,  and  on  the 
next  day,  when  the  matter  was  to  be  decided,  she  set 
before  Antony  a  banquet  that  was  indeed  splendid, 
so  that  the  day  might  not  be  wasted,a  but  of  the  kind 
served  every  day — Antony  laughing  and  expostu- 
lating at  its  niggardliness.  But  she  vowed  it  was  a 
mere  additional  douceur,  and  that  the  banquet  would 
round  off  the  account  and  her  own  dinner  alone  would 
cost  10,000,000  sesterces,  and  she  ordered  the  second 
course  to  be  served.  In  accordance  with  previous 
instructions  the  servants  placed  in  front  of  her  only  a 
single  vessel  containing  vinegar,  the  strong  rough 
quality  of  which  can  melt  pearls.6  She  was  at  the 
moment  wearing  in  her  ears  that  remarkable  and 
truly  unique  work  of  nature.  Antony  was  full  of 
curiosity  to  see  what  in  the  world  she  was  going  to 
do.  She  took  one  earring  off  and  dropped  the  pearl 
in  the  vinegar,  and  when  it  was  melted  swallowed  it. 
Lucius  Plancus,  who  was  umpiring  the  wager,  placed 
his  hand  on  the  other  pearl  when  she  was  preparing 
to  destroy  it  also  in  a  similar  way,  and  declared  that 
Antony  had  lost  the  battle — an  ominous  remark  that 
came  true.  With  this  goes  the  story  that,  when  that 
queen  who  had  won  on  this  important  issue  was 
captured,  the  second  of  this  pair  of  pearls  was 

4s 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

dissectum,  ut  esset  in  utrisque  Veneris  auribus  Romae 

122  in  Pantheo  dimidia  eorum  cena.  LIX.  non  ferent  hanc 
palmam,    spoliabunturque    etiam   luxuriae    gloria. 
prior  id  fecerat  Romae  in  unionibus  magnae  taxationis 
Clodius  tragoedi  Aesopi  fills,,  relictus  ab  eo  in  amplis 
opibus  hereSj  ne  triumvir  atu  suo  nimis   superbiat 
Antonius   paene   histrioni  comparatus,    et   quidem 
nulla  sponsione  ad  hoc  product  o,  quo  magis  regium 
fiat,  sed  ut  experiretur  in  gloriam  l  palati  quidnam 
saperent  margaritae;    atque  ut  mire  placuere,  ne 
solus  hoc  sciret,  singulos  uniones  convivis  quoque 
absorbendos  dedit. 

123  Romae  in  promiscuum  ac  frequentem  usum  venisse 
Alexandria   in   dicionem   redacta,   primum    autem 
coepisse   circa   Sullana  tempora   minutas    et   viles 
Fenestella  tradit  manifesto  errore,  cum  Aelius  Stilo 
circa  2  Jugurthinum  bellum  unionum  nomen  imponi- 
cum  maxime  grandibus  margaritis  prodat. 

124  LX.  Et  hoc  tamen  aeternae  prope  possessionis  est 
—  sequitur  heredem,  in  mancipatum  venit  ut  praedi- 
um  aliquod  :  conchylia  et  purpuras  omnis  hora  atterit, 
quibus    eadem    mater    luxuria    paria    paene    ac  3 
margaritis  pretia  fecit. 

125  Purpurae  vivunt  annis  plurimum  septenis.    latent 
sicut   murices   circa   canis    ortum   tricenis    diebus. 
congregantur    verno    tempore,    mutuoque     attritu 

1  Maykoff:  gloria.  *  circa  addf  Mayhoff. 

et. 


a  I.e.  Ajitony  and  Cleopatra.         6  47  B.C. 
c  dictator  81-79  B.C.  *  112-106  B.C. 

246 


BOOK  IX.  LVIII.  121-tx.  125 

cut  in  two  pieces,  so  that  half  a  helping  of  the  jewel 
might  be  in  each  of  the  ears  of  Venus  in  the  Pantheon 
at  Rome.  LIX.  They  a  will  not  carry  off  this  trophy.  An  earli 
and  will  be  robbed  even  of  the  record  for  ^- 
luxury !  A  predecessor  had  done  this  at  Rome  in  the 
case  of  pearls  of  great  value,  Clodius,  the  son  of  the 
tragic  actor  Aesopus,  who  had  left  him  his  heir  in  a 
vast  estate;  so  that  Antony  cannot  take  too  much 
pride  in  his  triumvirate  when  compared  with  one 
who  was  virtually  an  actor,  and  who  had  indeed  been 
led  on  to  this  display  not  by  any  wager — which  would 
make  it  more  royal — but  to  discover  by  experiment, 
for  the  honour  of  his  palate,  what  is  the  exact  flavour 
of  pearls;  and  when  they  proved  marvellously 
acceptable,  in  order  not  to  keep  the  knowledge  to 
himself  he  gave  his  guests  also  a  choice  pearl  apiece 
to  swallow. 

Fenestella  records  that  they  came  into  common  When 
use  at  Rome  after  the  reduction  of  Alexandria  under  W< 
our  sway,6  but  that  small  and  cheap  pearls  first  came 
in  about  the  period  of  Sulla c — which  is  clearly  a 
mistake,  as  Aelius  Stilo  states  that  the  distinctive 
name  was  given  to  large  pearls  just  at  the  time  of 
the  wars  d  of  Jugurtha. 

LX.  And  nevertheless  this  article  is  an  almost 
everlasting  piece  of  property — it  passes  to  its 
owner's  heir,  it  is  offered  for  public  sale  like  some 
landed  estate;  whereas  every  hour  of  use  wears 
away  robes  of  scarlet  and  purple,  which  the  same 
mother,  luxury,  has  made  almost  as  costly  as  pearls. 

Purples  live    seven  years  at  most.    They  stay  Habits  of  the 
in  hiding  like  the  murex  for  30  days  at  the  time  of 
the  rising  of  the  dog-star.    They  collect  into  shoals 
in  spring-time,  and  their  rubbing  together  causes 

247 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

lentorem  cuiusdam  cerae  salivant.  simili  modo  et 
murices,  sed  purpurae  florem  ilium  tinguendis 
expetitum  vestibus  in  mediis  habent  faucibus : 

126  liquoris  hie  minimi  est  *  Candida  vena  unde  pretiosus 
ille  bibitur,  nigrantis  rosae  colore  sublucens;    re- 
liquum   corpus   sterile,    vivas   capere   contendunt, 
quia  cum  vita  sucum  eum  evomunt;    et  maioribus 
quidem  purpuris  detracta  concha  auferunt,  minores 
cum  testa  vivas  frangunt,  ita  demum  eum  exspuentes. 

127  Tyri   praecipuus   hie   Asiae,    Meninge   Africae    et 
Gaetulo  litore  oceani,  in  Laconica  Europae.    fasces 
huic  securesque  Romanae  viam  faciunt,  idemque 
pro  maiestate  pueritiae  est;    distinguit   ab    equite 
curiam,  dis  advocatur  placandis,  omnemque  vestem 
inluminatj  in  triumphali  iniscetur  auro.     quapropter 
excusata  et  purpurae  sit  insania ;  sed  unde  conchyliis 
pretia,  quis  virus  grave  in  fuco,  color  austerus   in 
glauco  et  irascenti  similis  mari? 

128  Lingua  purpurae  longitudine  digitali,  qua  pascitur 
perforando  reliqua  conchylia:    tanta  duritia  aculeo 
est.     aquae   dulcedine   necantur   et   sicubi   flumen 
inmergitur,  alioqui  captae  et  diebus  quinquagenis 
vivunt  saliva  sua.    conchae   omnes  celerrime  cres- 
cunt,    praecipue    purpurae;     anno    magnitudinem 
implent. 

1  Mayhoff :  est  in. 

0  The  references  are  to  the  purple  stripes  on  the  togas  of 
consuls,  boys  of  noble  family,  senators  (who  had  the  broad 
stripe),  equites,  and  priests  performing  sacrifices. 

248 


BOOK  IX.  LX.  125-128 

them  to  discharge  a  sort  of  waxy  viscous  slime.  The 
murex  also  does  this  in  a  similar  manner,  but  it  has 
the  famous  flower  of  purple,  sought  after  for  dyeing 
robes,  in  the  middle  of  its  throat :  here  there  is  a 
white  vein  of  very  scanty  fluid  from  which  that 
precious  dye,  suffused  with  a  dark  rose  colour,  is 
drained,  but  the  rest  of  the  body  produces  nothing. 
People  strive  to  catch  this  fish  alive,  because  it 
discharges  this  juice  with  its  life;  and  from  the 
larger  purples  they  get  the  juice  by  stripping  off 
the  shell,  but  they  crush  the  smaller  ones  alive  with 
the  shell,  as  that  is  the  only  way  to  make  them  dis- 
gorge the  juice.  The  best  Asiatic  purple  is  at  Tyre, 
the  best  African  is  at  Meninx  and  on  the  Gaetulian 
coast  of  the  Ocean,  the  best  European  in  the  district 
of  Sparta.  The  official  rods  and  axes  of  Rome  clear  purple  robes 
it  a  path,  and  it  also  marks  the  honourable  estate  Qf°fstate' 
boyhood ;  it  distinguishes  the  senate  from  the  knight- 
hood, it  is  called  in  to  secure  the  favour  of  the  gods  a ; 
and  it  adds  radiance  to  every  garment,  while  in  a 
triumphal  robe  it  is  blended  with  gold.  Consequently 
even  the  mad  lust  for  the  purple  may  be  excused ; 
but  what  is  the  cause  of  the  prices  paid  for  purple- 
shells,  which  have  an  unhealthy  odour  when  used  for 
dye  and  a  gloomy  tinge  in  their  radiance  resembling 
an  angry  sea? 

The  purple's  tongue  is  an  inch  long;  whtn  More  details 
feeding  it  uses  it  for  piercing  a  hole  in  the  other 
kinds  of  shell-fish,  so  hard  is  its  point.  These  fish 
die  in  fresh  water  and  wherever  a  river  discharges 
into  the  sea,  but  otherwise  when  caught  they  live  as 
much  as  seven  weeks  on  their  own  sHme.  All  shell- 
fish grow  with  extreme  rapidity,  especially  the 
purple-fish;  they  reach  their  full  size  in  a  year. 

249 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

129  LXI.  Quod    si    hactenus    transcurrat    expositio 
fraudatam  profecto  se  luxuria  credat  nosque  indili- 
gentiae  damnet.    quamobrem  persequemur  etiam 
officinas,  ut  tamquam  in  victu  frugum  noscitur  ratio 
sic  omnes  qui  istis  gaudent  in 1  praemio  2  vitae  suae 

130  calleant.    concharum  ad  purpuras   et   conchylia — 
eadem  enim  est  materia,  sed  distat  temperamento — 
duo  sunt  genera :  bucinum  minor  concha  ad  simili- 
tudinem  eius  qua  bucinae3  sonus  editur,  unde  et 
causa  nominis,4  rotunditate  oris  in  margine  incisa; 
alterum  purpura  vocatur  canaliculate   procurrente 
rostro  et  canaliculi  latere  introrsus  tubulate,  qua 
proferatur  lingua;   praeterea  clavatum  est  ad  tur- 
binem  usque  aculeis  in  orb  em  septenis  fere,  qui  non 
sunt  bucino,  sed  utrisque  orbes  totidem  quot  habeant 
annos.    bucinum  nonnisi  petris  adhaeret  circaque 
scopulos  legitur. 

131  Purpurae  nomine  alio  pelagiae  vocantur.     earum 
genera  plura  pabulo  et  solo  discreta :   lutense  putre 
limo  et  algense  nutriturn  5  alga,  vilissimum  utrumque. 
melius  taeniense  in  taeniis   maris  collectum,  hoc 
quoque    tamen    etiamnum    levius    atque    dilutius. 
calculense  appellatur  a  calculo  in 6  mari  mire  aptum 
conchyliis;    et  longe  optimum  purpuris  dialutense, 

1  in  add.  MayJioff.  2  v.L  praemia. 

3  HacJcham :  bncini.  *  MayJioff :  nomini. 

250 


BOOK  IX.  LXI.  129-131 

LXI.  But  if  having  come  to  this  point  our  exposi-  Kinds  of 
tion  were  to  pass  over  elsewhere,  luxury  would  ^"^ 
undoubtedly  believe  itself  defrauded  and  would  find  pwpte  a™* 
us  guilty  of  remissness.  For  this  reason  we  will scar  e  yes' 
pursue  the  subject  of  manufactures  as  well,  so  that 
just  as  the  principle  of  foodstuffs  is  learnt  in  food, 
so  everybody  who  takes  pleasure  in  the  class  of  things 
in  question  may  be  well-informed  on  the  subject  of 
that  which  is  the  prize  of  their  mode  of  life.  Shell- 
fish supplying  purple  dyes  and  scarlets — the  material 
of  these  is  the  same  but  it  is  differently  blended — 
are  of  two  kinds:  the  whelk  is  a  smaller  shell 
resembling  the  one  that  gives  out  the  sound  of  a 
trumpet,  whence  the  reason  of  its  name,  by  means 
of  the  round  mouth  incised  in  its  edge ;  the  other 
is  called  the  purple,  with  a  channelled  beak 
jutting  out  and  the  side  of  the  channel  tube-shaped 
inwards,  through  which  the  tongue  can  shoot  out; 
moreover  it  is  prickly  all  round,  with  about  seven 
spikes  forming  a  ring,  which  are  not  found  in  the 
whelk,  though  both  shells  have  as  many  rings 
as  they  are  years  old.  The  trumpet-shell  clings 
only  to  rocks  and  can  be  gathered  round  crags. 

Another  name  used  for  the  purple  is  '  pelagia.3  Their 
There    are   several   kinds,  distinguished   by   their  JSgj*8** 
food   and  the   ground  they   live    on.    The   mud- 
purple  feeds   on  rotting  slime  and  the  seaweed- 
purple  on  seaweed,  both  being  of  a  very  common 
quality.    A  better  kind  is  the  reef-purple,  collected 
on  the  reefs  of  the  sea,  though  this  also  is  lighter  and 
softer  as  well.    The  pebble-purple  is  named  after  a 
pebble  in  the  sea,  and  is  remarkably  suitable  for 
purple  dyes;    and  far  the  best  for  these  is  the 

5  MayJioff :  emitritum.  6  in  add.  MayTwff. 

251 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

132  id  est  vario  soli  genere  pastum.     capiuntur  autem 
purpurae  parvulis  rarisque  textu  veluti  nassis   in 
alto   iactis.    inest   his    esca,   clusiles   mordacesque 
conchae,  ceu  mitulos  videmus.    has  semineces  sed 
redditas  mari  avido  hiatu  reviviscentes   appetunt 
purpurae   porrectisque   linguis   infestant.     at   illae 
aculeo   extimulatae  claudunt  sese  comprimuntque 
mordentia.    its  pendentes  aviditate  sua  purpurae 
tolluntur. 

133  LXII.  Capi  eas  post  cards  ortum  aut  ante  vernum 
tempus  utilissimum,  quoniam,  cum  cerificavere,  fluxos 
habent  sucos.    sed  id  tinguentium  officinae  ignorant, 
cum  summa  vertatur  in  eo.     eximitur  postea  vena 
quam  diximus,  cui  addi  salem  necessarium,  sextarios 
ferme  centenas  in  libras;    macerari  triduo  iustum, 
quippe  tanto  maior  vis  quanto  recentior,  fervere  in 
plumbOj  singulasque   amphoras    aquae,1    quingua- 
genas2  medicaminis  libras  aequali3  ac  modico  vapore 
torreri  adducto  4  longinquae  fornacis  cnniculo.    it  a 
despumatis  subinde  carnibus  quas  adhaesisse  venis 
necesse  est,  decimo  ferme  die  liquata  cortina  vellus 
elutriatum   mergitur   in   experimentum    et,    donee 
spei  satis  fiat,  uritur  liquor,    rubens  color  nigrante 

134  deterior.     quinis  lana  potat  horis  rursusque  mergitur 

1  Deilefsen  :  amphoras  centenas  atque. 

2  edd.  noTWulU :  quingentenas. 

3  Jan :  aequari. 

4  adducto  (an  ez  aeneo  ?)  MayTxff :  et  ideo. 
252 


BOOK  IX.  LXI.  131-LXii.  134 

melting-purple,  that  is,  one  fed  on  a  varying  kind  sow  caught, 
of  mud.  Purples  are  taken  in  a  sort  of  little 
lobster-pot  of  fine  ply  thrown  into  deep  water. 
These  contain  bait,  cockles  that  close  with  a  snap, 
as  we  observe  that  mussels  do.  These  when  half- 
killed  but  put  back  into  the  sea  gape  greedily  as  they 
revive  and  attract  the  purples,  which  go  for  them 
with  outstretched  tongues.  But  the  cockles  when 
pricked  by  their  spike  shut  up  and  nip  the 
creatures  nibbling  them.  So  the  purples  hang 
suspended  because  of  their  greed  and  are  lifted 
out  of  the  water. 

LXII.  It  is  most  profitable  for  them  to  be  taken  Preparation 
after  the  rising  of  the  dog-star  or  before  spring-time,  lie^i^of 
since  when  they  have  waxed  themselves  over  with  varieties. 
slime,  they  have  their  juices  fluid.  But  this  fact  is 
not  known  to  the  dyers'  factories,  although  it  is 
of  primary  importance.  Subsequently  the  vein 
of  which  we  spoke  a  is  removed,  and  to  this  salt 
has  to  be  added,  about  a  pint  for  every  hundred 
pounds;  three  days  is  the  proper  time  for  it  to  be 
steeped  (as  the  fresher  the  salt  the  stronger  it  is), 
and  it  should  be  heated  in  a  leaden  pot,  and  with 
50  Ibs.  of  dye  to  every  six  gallons  of  water  kept  at  a 
uniform  and  moderate  temperature  by  a  pipe  brought 
from  a  furnace  some  way  off.  This  will  cause  it 
gradually  to  deposit  the  portions  of  flesh  which  are 
bound  to  have  adhered  to  the  veins,  and  after  about 
nine  days  the  cauldron  is  strained  and  a  fleece  that 
has  been  washed  clean  is  dipped  for  a  trial,  and  the 
liquid  is  heated  up  until  fair  confidence  is  achieved. 
A  ruddy  colour  is  inferior  to  a  blackish  one.  The 
fleece  is  allowed  to  soak  for  five  hours  and  after  it  has 


253 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

carminata,  donee  omnem  ebibat  saniem.  bucinum 
per  se  damnatur,  quoniam  fucum  remittit :  pelagic 
ad  modum  alligatur,  nimiaeque  eius  nigritiae  dat 
austeritatem  illam  nitoremque  qui  quaeritur  cocci ; 
ita  permixtis  viribus  alterum  altero 1  excitatur  aut 

135  astringitur.     summa   medicaminuin    in    M  2    libras 
vellerum  bucini  ducenae  et  e  pelagio  cxi;   ita  fit 
amethysti    colos    eximius    ille.     at   Tyrius    pelagio 
primum  satiatur  inmatura  viridique   cortina,   mox 
permutatur  in  bucino.    laus  ei  summa  in  color  e  3 
sanguinis     concreti,     nigricans     aspectu     idemque 
suspectu    refulgens;   unde    et    Homero    purpureus 
dicitur  sanguis. 

136  LXIII.  Purpurae  usum  Romae  semper  fuisse  video, 
sed  Romulo  in  trabea :  nam  toga  praetexta  et  latiore 
clavo  Tullum  Hostilium  e  regibus  primum   usum 

137  Etruscis  devictis  satis  const  at.     Nepos  Cornelius,  qui 
divi  Augusti  principatu  obiit :  '  Me/  inquit,  c  iuvene 
violacea  purpura  vigebat,  cuius  libra  denariis  centum 
venibat,    nee    multo    post    rubra    Tarentina.     huic 
successit   dibapha  Tyria,   quae   in    libras    denariis 
mille  non  poterat  emi.    hac  P.  Lentulus  Spinther 
aedilis  curulis  primus  in  praetexta  usus  improbabatur, 
qua   purpura    quis   non   iam,'    inquit,    '  tricliniaria 
facit  ?  '    Spinther  aedilis  fuit  urbis  conditae  anno 

1  <ab>  altero  ?  Rackham.  2  M  add.  Mayhoff. 

3  color  est  vel  ut  sit  colore  ?  Mayhoff. 

254 


BOOK  IX.  LXII.  134-Lxm.  137 

been  carded  is  dipped  again,  until  it  soaks  up  all  the 
juice.  The  whelk  by  itself  is  not  approved  of,  as 
it  does  not  make  a  fast  dye;  it  is  blended  in  a 
moderate  degree  with  sea-purple  and  it  gives  to  its 
excessively  dark  hue  that  hard  and  brilliant  scarlet 
which  is  in  demand;  when  their  forces  are  thus 
mingled,  the  one  is  enlivened,  or  deadened  as  the 
case  may  be,  by  the  other.  The  total  amount  of 
dye-stuffs  required  for  1,000  Ibs.  of  fleece  is  200  Ibs. 
of  whelk  and  111  Ibs.  of  sea-purple;  so  is  produced 
that  remarkable  amethyst  colour.  For  Tyrian  purple 
the  wool  is  first  soaked  with  sea-purple  for  a  prelim- 
inary pale  dressing,  and  then  completely  transformed 
with  whelk  dye.  Its  highest  glory  consists  in 
the  colour  of  congealed  blood,  blackish  at  first 
glance  but  gleaming  when  held  up  to  the  light; 
this  is  the  origin  of  Homer's  phrase,  *  blood  of  purple 
hue.' 

LXIII.  I  notice  that  the  use  of  purple  at  Rome  History 
dates  from  the  earliest  times,  but  that  Romulus  used 
it  only  for  a  cloak;  as  it  is  fairly  certain  that  the 
first  of  the  kings  to  use  the  bordered  robe  and  broader 
purple  stripe  was  Tullus  HostiliuSj  after  the  conquest 
of  the  Etruscans.  Cornelius  Nepos,  who  died  in  the 
principate  of  the  late  lamented  Augustus,  says :  *  In 
my  young  days  the  violet  purple  dye  was  the 
vogue,  a  pound  of  which  sold  at  100  denarii ;  and 
not  much  later  the  red  purple  of  Taranto.  This  was 
followed  by  the  double-dyed  Tyrian  purple,  which 
it  was  impossible  to  buy  for  1000  denarii  per  pound. 
This  was  first  used  in  a  bordered  robe  by  Publius 
Lentulus  Spinther,  curule  aedile,  but  met  with  dis- 
approval, though  who  does  not  use  this  purple  for 
covering  dining-couches  now-a-days  ? '  Spinther  was 

255 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

DCXCI  Cicerone  cos.  dibapha  tune  dicebatur  quae 
bis  tincta  esset,  veluti  magnifico  impendio,  qualiter 
nunc  omnes  paene  commodiores  purpurae  tinguuntur. 

138  LXIV.  In  conchyliata  veste  cetera  eadem  sine 
bucino,   praeterque   ius   temperatur   aqua    et   pro 
indiviso    humani    potus    excremento;     dimidia    et 
medicamina   adduntur.     sic    gigrdtur   laudatus    ille 
pallor  saturitate  fraudata  tantoque  dilutior l  quanto 
magis  veil  era  esuriunt. 

Pretia  medicamento  sunt  quidem  pro  fertilitate 
litoruna  viliora,  non  tamen  usquam  pelagii  centenas 
Libras  quinquagenos  nummos  excedere  et  bucini 

139  centenos  sciant  qui  ista  mercantur  inmenso.     LXV. 
set  alia  e  fine  initia,  iuvatque  ludere  impendio  et 
lusus  geminare  miscendo  iterumque  et  ipsa  adult- 
erare  adulteria  naturae,  sicut  testudines  tinguere, 
argentum  auro  confundere  ut  electra  fiant,  addere 
his  aera  ut  Corinthia.    non  est  satis  abstulisse  gem- 
mae nomen  amethystum;   rursum  absolutus  2  ine- 
briatur  Tyrio,  ut  sit  ex  utroque  nomen  improbum 
simulque  luxuria  duplex;    et  cum  confecere  con- 

140  chylia,  transire  melius  in  Tyrium  putant.    paeniten- 
tia  hoc  primum  debet  invenisse  artifice  mutante  quod 
damnabat ;   inde  ratio  nata,  votumque 3  factum  e 
vitio  portentosis  ingeniis  et  gemina  demonstrata  via 

1  dilucidior  ?  edd. 

2  Edd. :  absolutum  (abhitus  ?  JRacJcham). 

3  -quo?  Mayhoffi  quisq^ue. 

a  The  Greek  name  amethystos  was  also  used  of  a  herb  sup- 
posed to  ward  off  intoxication. 

b  Tyriamethystus. 
256 


BOOK  IX.  LXIII.  i37-Lxv.  140 

aedile  in  the  consulship  of  Cicero,  63  B.C.    Stuff 
dipped  twice  over  used  at  that  time  to  be  termed 

*  double-dyed,'    and    was    regarded    as    a    lavish 
extravagance,    but    now    almost     all     the    more 
agreeable  purple  stuffs  are  dyed  in  this  way. 

LXIV.  In  a  purple-dyed  dress  the  rest  of  the 
process  is  the  same  except  that  trumpet-shell  dye  is 
not  used,  and  in  addition  the  juice  is  diluted  with 
water  and  with  human  urine  in  equal  quantities; 
and  only  half  the  amount  of  dye  is  used.  This 
produces  that  much  admired  paleness,  avoiding  deep 
colouration,  and  the  more  diluted  the  more  the 
fleeces  are  stinted. 

The  prices  for  dyestuff  vary  in  cheapness  with  the 
productivity  of  the  coasts,  but  those  who  buy  them 
at  an  enormous  price  should  know  that  deep-sea 
purple  nowhere  exceeds  50  sesterces  and  trumpet- 
shell  100  sesterces  per  100  Ibs.  LXV.  But  every  Elaborate 
end  leads  to  fresh  starts,  and  men  make  a  sport  SJJJf**^ 
of  spending,  and  like  doubling  their  sports  by  com- 
bining them  and  re-adulterating  nature's  adultera- 
tions, for  instance  staining  tortoiseshells,  alloying  gold 
with  silver  to  produce  amber-metal  ware,  and  adding 
copper  to  these  to  make  Corinthian  ware.  It  is  not 
enough  to  have  stolen  for  a  dye  the  name  of  a  gem, 

*  sober-stone/  a  but  when  finished  it  is  made  drunk 
again  with  Tyrian  dye,  so  as  to  produce  from  the  com- 
bination an  outlandish  name b  and  a  twofold  luxury  at 
one  time ;  and  when  they  have  made  shell-dye,  they 
think  it  an  improvement  for  it  to  pass  into  Tyrian. 
Repentance  must  have   discovered  this  first,  the 
artificer  altering  a  product  that  he  disapproved  of; 
but  reason  sprang  up  next,  and  a  defect  was  turned 
into  a  success  by  marvellous  inventions,  and  a  double 

257 
VOL.  ni.  s 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

luxuriae,  ut  color  alius  operiretur  alio,  suavior  it  a 
fieri  leniorque  dictus ;  quin  et  terrena  miscere  cocco- 
que  tinctum  Tyrio  tinguere  ut  fieret  hysginum. 

141  coccum  Galatiae  rubens  granum,  ut  dicemus  in  ter- 
restribus  aut  circa  Emeritam  Lusitaniae  in  maxima 
laude    est.     verum,    ut    simul    peragantur    nobilia 
pigmenta,   anniculo   grano   languidus    sucus,  idem 
a  quadrimo  evanidus :   ita  nee  recenti  vires  neque 
senescenti. 

Abunde  tractata  est  ratio  qua  se  virorum  iuxta 
feminarumque  forma  credit  amplissimam  fieri. 

142  LXVL  Concharum  generis  et  pina  est.     nascitur 
in  limosis,  subrecta  semper  nee  umquam  sine  comite 
quem  pinoteren  vocant,  alii  pinophylacem ;    id  est 
squilla  parva,  aliubi  cancer,  dapis  adsectator.  pandit 
se  pina  luminibus  orbum  corpus  intus  minutis  piscibus 
praebens;    adsultant  illi  protinus  et,  ubi  licentia 
audacia  crevit,  implent  earn,    hoc  tempus  speculatus 
index  morsu  levi  significat.    ilia  conpressu 1  quicquid 
inclusit  exanimat  partemque  socio  tribuit, 

143  LXVII,  Quo    magis   miror    quodam    existimasse 
aquatilibus  nullum  inesse  sensum.    novit  torpedo 
vim  suam  ipsa  non  torpens,  mersaque  in  limo  se 

1  CJiiffl. :  compresso. 

«  The  COCCVA  is  really  a  scale-insect  which  lives  on  the  oak  j  it 
resembles  a  scale  pressed  against  the  stem.  Pliny  and  most  of 
the  ancients  confused  it  with  seed. 

258 


BOOK  IX.  LXV.  140-Lxvn.  143 

path  pointed  out  for  luxury,  so  that  one  colour  might 
be  concealed  by  another,  being  pronounced  to  be 
made  sweeter  and  softer  by  this  process ;  and  also  a 
method  to  blend  minerals,  and  dye  with  Tyrian  a 
fabric  already  dyed  with  scarlet,  to  produce  hysgine 
colour.  The  kermes,a  a  red  kernel  of  Galatia, 
as  we  shall  say  when  dealing  with  the  products  of  the 
earth,  or  else  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Merida  in 
Lusitania,  is  most  approved.  But,  to  finish  off  these 
famous  dyes  at  once,  the  kernel  when  a  year  old  has 
a  viscous  juice,  and  also  after  it  is  four  years  old  the 
juice  tends  to  disappear,  so  that  it  lacks  strength 
both  when  fresh  and  when  getting  old. 

We  have  amply  dealt  with  the  method  whereby 
the  beauty  of  men  and  women  alike  believes  that  it  is 
rendered  most  abundant. 

LXVI.  The  genus  shell-fish  also  includes  the  fan-  M***"* 

i       T         &  T          -i  i  -  and  its 

mussel.  It  occurs  in  marshy  places,  always  m  an  attendant  the 
upright  position,  and  never  without  a  companion sqmlL 
which  is  called  the  pea-crab,  or  by  others  the  sea- 
pen-protector  :  this  is  a  small  shrimp,  elsewhere  called 
a  crab,  its  attendant  at  the  feast.  The  sea-pen 
opens,  presenting  the  dark  inside  of  its  body  to  the 
tiny  fishes;  these  at  once  dart  forward,  and  when 
their  courage  has  grown  by  license,  they  fill  up  the 
sea-pen.  Her  marker  having  watched  for  this 
moment  gives  her  a  signal  with  a  gentle  nip.  She 
by  shutting  up  kills  whatever  she  has  enclosed,  and 
bestows  a  share  on  her  partner. 

LXVII.  This  makes  me  all  the  more  surprised  that  ^ft**** 
some  people  have  held  the  view  that  aquatic  animals  state,  sling- 
possess  no  senses.  The  torpedo  knows  her  power,  ' 

and  does  not  herself  possess  the  torpor  she  inflicts ; 
she  hides  by  plunging  into  the  mud,  and  snaps  up 

259 

s2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

occult  at  piscimn  qui  securi  sup  ernat  antes  obtorpuere 
corrlpiens.  hums  iecori  teneritas  nulla  praefertur. 
nee  minor  sollertia  ranae  quae  in  mari  piscatrix 
vocatur:  eminentia  sub  oculis  cornicula  turbato 
limo  exerit,  adsultantibus  pisciculis  retrahens,1 

144  donee  tarn  prope  accedant  ut  adsiliat.    simili  modo 
squatina  et  rhombus  abditi  pinnas  exertas  movent 
specie    vermiculorum,   item   quae   vocantur   raiae. 
nam  pastinaca  latrocinatur  ex  occulto  transeuntes 
radio,  quod  telum  est  ei,  %ens ;  argument  a  sollertiae 
huius,  quod  tardissimi  piscium  hi  mugilem  velocissi- 
mum  habentes  in  ventre  reperiuntur. 

145  Scolopendrae  terrestribus  similes  quas  centipedes 
vocant  hamo   devorato   omnia  interanea   evomunt 
donee  hamum  egerant,  deinde  resorbent.     at  vulpes 
marinae  simili  in  periculo  gluttiunt  amplius  usque  ad 
infirma  lineae  qua  facile  praerodant.   cautius   qui 
glanis  vocatur  aversos  mordet  hamos  nee  devorat  sed 
esca  spoliat. 

Grassatur  aries  ut  latro,  et  nunc  grandiorum 
navium  in  salo  stantium  occultatus  umbra  si  quern 
nandi  voluptas  invitet  expectat,  nunc  elato  extra 
aquam  capite  piscantium  cumbas  speculatur  occul- 
tusque  adnatans  mergit. 

146  LXVIII.  Equidem  et  iis  inesse  sensum  arbitror 
quae  neque  animalium  neque  fruticum  sed  tertiam 

1  retrahens  aut  praetrahens  edd. :  pertralieiis. 

a  Obviously  a  worm,  such  as  Eunice  or  Nereis. 
6  Probably  dog-fish. 
c  Probably  a  dolphin. 

260 


BOOK  IX.  LXVII.  143-LXVin.  146 

any  fish  that  have  received  a  shock  while  swim- 
ming carelessly  above  her.  No  tender  morsel  is 
preferred  to  the  liver  of  this  fish.  The  sea-frog 
called  the  angler-fish  is  equally  cunning :  it  stirs  up 
the  mud  and  puts  out  the  little  horns  that  project 
under  its  eyes,  drawing  them  back  when  little  fishes 
frisk  towards  them  till  they  come  near  enough  for  it 
to  spring  upon  them.  In  a  similar  manner  the  skate 
and  the  turbot  while  in  hiding  put  out  their  fins  and 
wave  them  about  to  look  like  worms,  and  so  also  do 
the  fish  called  rays.  For  the  sting-ray  acts  as  a 
freebooter,  from  its  hiding  place  transfixing  fish 
passing  by  with  its  sting,  which  is  its  weapon ;  there 
are  proofs  of  this  cunning,  because  these  fish,  though 
the  slowest  there  are,  are  found  with  mullet,  the 
swiftest  of  all  fish,  in  their  belly. 

The  scokpendra*  which  resembles  the  land  animal 
called  the  centipede,  when  it  has  swallowed  a  hook 
vomits  up  the  whole  of  its  inwards  until  it  succeeds  in 
disgorging  it,  and  then  sucks  them  back  again.  Sea- 
foxes  6  on  the  other  hand  in  a  similar  emergency  gulp 
down  more  of  the  line  till  they  reach  its  weak  part 
where  they  may  easily  gnaw  it  off.  The  fish  called  the 
catfish  more  cautiously  nibbles  at  hooks  from  behind 
and  strips  them  of  the  bait  without  swallowing  them. 

The  sea-ram c  goes  around  like  a  brigand,  and  now 
hides  in  the  shadow  of  the  larger  vessels  riding  at 
anchor  and  waits  in  case  somebody  may  be  tempted 
by  the  pleasure  of  a  swim,  now  raises  its  head  out  of 
the  water  and  watches  for  fishermen's  boats,  and 
secretly  swimming  up  to  them  sinks  them. 

LXVIII.  For  my  own  part  I  hold  the  view  that 
even  those  creatures  which  have  not  got  the  nature 
of  either  animals  or  plants,  but  some  third  nature 

261 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

quandam  ex  utroque  naturam  habent,  urticis  dico  et 
spongeis. 

Urticae  noctu  vagantur  locumque1  mutant, 
carnosae  frondis  his  natura,  et  came  vescuntur.  vis 
pruritu  mordax  est  eademque  quae  terrestris 
urticae.  contrahit  ergo  se  quam  maxime  rigens  ac 
pracnatante  pisciculo  frondem  suam  spargit  com- 

147  plectensque    devorat.    alias    marcenti     similis     et 
iactari  se  passa  fluctu  algae  vice,  contactos  piscium 
attrituque  petrae  scalpentes  pruritum  invadit.  eadem 
noctu  pectines  et  echinos  perquirit.2    cum  admoveri 
sibi  manum  sentit,  color  em  mutat  et  contrahitur. 
tacta  uredinem  emittit,3  paulumque  si  fuit  intervalli, 
absconditur.     ora    ei    in    radice    esse    traduntur, 
excrementa  per  summa  tenui  fistula  reddi. 

148  LXIX.  Spongearum     tria     genera     accepimus: 
spissum  ac  praedurum  et  asperum  tragos  4  vocatur, 
minus5  spissum  et  molius  manos,  tenue  densumque, 
ex  quo  penicillij   Achillium.    nascuntur   omnes   in 
petris,   aluntur    conchis,    pisce,    limo.    intellectum 
inesse  his  apparet,  quia,  ubi  avulsorem 6  sensere, 
contractae  multo  difBcilius  abstrahuntur.     hoc  idem 

149  fluctu  pulsante  faciunt.    vivere  esca  manifesto  con- 
chae  minutae  in  his  repertae  ostendunt.    circa  Toro- 
nem  vesci  illis  avulsas  etiam  aiunt  et  ex  relictis 

1  MayJioff  ex  Aristotele :  noctnque. 

2  Lacunam  per  .  .  .  quaerit  Mayhoff. 

3  MayJioff?  i  mittit. 

4  Mayhoff:  tragos  id. 

5  minus  add*  Hermokms. 
8  avolsurum  ?  Mayhoff. 

262 


BOOK  IX.  LXVIII.  i46-Lxix.  149 

derived  from  both,  possess  sense-perception — I  mean 
jelly-fish  and  sponges. 

Jelly-fish  roam  about  and  change  their  place  by 
night.  These  have  the  nature  of  a  fleshy  leaf,  and 
they  feed  on  flesh.  The  itch  they  cause  has  a  biting 
power,  just  like  that  of  the  land  nettle.  Consequently 
this  creature  draws  itself  in  as  stiffly  as  possible  and 
when  a  little  fish  swims  in  front  of  it  spreads  out  its 
leaf  and  enfolding  it  devours  it.  In  other  cases  it 
looks  as  if  it  were  withering  up,  and  allows  itself  to 
be  tossed  about  by  the  waves  like  seaweed,  and 
attacks  any  fish  that  touch  it  as  they  try  to  scrape 
away  the  itch  by  rubbing  against  a  rock.  The  same 
creature  by  night  hunts  for  scallops  and  sea-urchins. 
When  it  feels  a  hand  approach  it,  it  changes  colour 
and  draws  itself  together.  When  touched  it  sends 
out  a  turning  sting,  and  if  there  is  a  moment's 
interval  hides.  It  is  reported  to  have  mouths  in  its 
root  and  to  evacuate  its  excretions  by  a  narrow  tube 
through  its  topmost  parts. 

LXIX.  We  are  informed  that  there  are  three  The  sponge 
kinds  of  sponge :  a  thick  and  very  hard  and  rough  ^UX? 
one  is  called  goat-thorn  sponge,  a  less  thick  and  ***»• 

f.  T&  i          ,1  •  p     ^        habitat. 

softer  one  loose-sponge,  and  a  thin  one  ot  close 
texture,  used  for  making  paint-brushes,  Achilles 
sponge.  They  all  grow  on  rocks,  and  feed  on  shells, 
fish  and  mud.  These  creatures  manifestly  possess 
intelligence,  because  when  they  are  aware  of  a  sponge- 
gatherer  they  contract  and  make  it  much  more 
difficult  to  detach  them.  They  do  the  same  when 
much  beaten  by  the  waves.  The  tiny  shells  found 
inside  them  clearly  show  that  they  five  by  eating 
food.  It  is  said  that  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Torone 
they  can  be  fed  on  these  shell-fish  even  after  they 

263 


PLINY;    NATURAL  HISTORY 

radicibus  recrescere  in  petris;  cruoris  quoque  in- 
haeret  colos,  Africis  praecipue  quae  generantur  in 
Syrtibus.  maximae  fiunt  manoe  sed  mollissimae 
circa  Lyciam,  in  profundo  autem  nee  ventoso  mol- 
liores;  in  Hellesponto  asperae,  et  densae  circa 
Maleam.  putrescunt  in  apricis  locis,  ideo  optimae  in 
gurgitibus.  viventibus  idem  qui  madentibus  nigri- 

150  cans    colos.    adhaerent  nee  parte  nee  totae;    in- 
tersunt  enim  fistulae  quaedam  inanes  quaternae  fere 
aut  quinae,  per  quas  pasci  existimantur.     sunt  et 
aliae,  sed  superne  concretae ;  et  subesse  membrana 
quaedam    radicibus    earum    intellegitur.      vivere 
constat  longo  tempore.    pessimum  omnium  genus 
est  earum  quae  aplysiae  vocantur,  quia  eiui  non 
possunt,  in  quibus  magnae  sunt  fistulae  et  reliqua 
densitas  spissa. 

151  LXX.  Camcularum  maxime  multitudo  circa  eas 
urinantes  gravi  periculo   infestat.    ipsi    ferunt    et 
nubem  quandam  crassescere  super  capita  (animal 
id x   planorum    piscium    simile 2)   prementem    eos 
arcentemque  a  reciprocando,  et  ob  id  stilos  praea- 
cutos  lineis  adnexos  habere  sese,  quia  nisi  perfossae 
ita  non  recedant — caliginis  et  pavoris,  ut  arbitror, 
opere:    nubem  enim  et  nebulam,  cuius  nomine  id 

1  DeUefsen  :  animali.  2  Rackham  :  similem. 

a  la  the  Gulf  of  Sidra  and  the  Gulf  of  Cabes. 
6  Literally  *  unwashable.* 
c  Probably  the  large  ray. 

264 


BOOK  IX.  LXIX.  i49~Lxx.  151 

have  been  pulled  off  the  rocks,  and  that  fresh  sponges 
grow  again  on  the  rocks  from  the  roots  left  there ; 
also  the  colour  of  blood  remains  on  them,  especially 
on  the  African  ones  that  grow  on  the  Sandbanks.a 
Very  large  but  very  soft  thin  sponges  grow  round 
Lycia,  though  those  in  deep  aqd  calm  water  are 
softer ;  the  rough  kind  grows  ir\  the  Dardanelles, 
and  the  close-textured  round  Cape  Malea.  Sponges 
decay  in  sunny  places,  and  consequently  the  best 
are  found  in  deep  pools.  Live  sponges  have  the  same 
blackish  colour  as  sponges  in  use  have  when  wet. 
They  do  not  cling  to  the  rock  with  a  particular  part 
nor  with  their  entire  surface,  for  they  have  certain 
empty  tubes,  about  four  or  five  in  number,  running 
through  them,  through  which  it  is  believed  that  they 
take  their  food.  They  also  have  other  tubes,  but 
these  are  closed  at  the  upper  end ;  and  it  is  under- 
stood that  there  is  a  sort  of  thin  skin  on  the  under 
side  of  their  roots.  It  is  established  that  they  live 
a  long  time.  The  worst  of  all  the  species  of  sponge 
is  one  called  in  Greek  the  dirty5  sponge,  because  it 
cannot  be  cleaned;  it  contains  large  tubes,  and 
the  rest  of  it  is  of  a  very  close  texture 

LXX.  The  number  of  dog-fish  specially  swarming  Diving  for 
round  sponges  beset  the  men  that  dive  for  them  with  s^^^th 
grave  danger.    These  persons  also  report  that  a  sort  dog-fish. 
of  *  cloud   c  thickens  above  their  heads — this  a  live 
creature  resembling  flat-fish — pressing  them  down 
and  preventing  them  from  getting  back,  and  that 
because  of  this  they  have  very  sharp  spikes  attached 
to  cords,  because  the  *  clouds  '  will  not  withdraw 
unless  stabbed  through  in  this  way— this  story  being 
the  result,  as  I  believe,  of  darkness  and  fear;  for 
nobody  has  ever  heard  of  any  such  creature  in  the 

265 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

malum  appellant,  inter  animalia  haut  ullam  comperit 

152  quisquam.    cum  caniculis  atrox  dimicatio ;   inguina 
et  calces  omnemque  candorem  corporum  appetunt. 
salus  Tina  in  adversas  eundi  ultroque  terrendi ;  pavet 
enim  hominem  aeque  ac  terret,  et  ita  sors  *  aequa 
in  gurgite.  lit  ad  summa  aquae  ventum  est,  ibi  peri- 
culum  anceps,  adempta  ratione  contra  eundi  dum 
conetur  emergere ;   et  salus  omnis  in  sociis.    funem 
illi    religatum    ab    umeris     eius    trahunt;     hunc 
dimicans,  ut  sit  periculi  signum,  laeva  quatit,  dextera 

153  adprehenso  stilo  in  pugna  est.    modicus  alias  trac- 
tatus :  ut  prope  carinam  ventum  est,  nisi  praeceleri 
vi  repente  eripiunt,2  absumi  spectant.    ac  saepe  iam 
subducti  e  manibus  auferuntur,  si  non  trahentium 
opem    conglobato    corpore    in   pilae    modum    ipsi 
adiuvere.    protendunt   quidem  tridentis   alii;    sed 
monstro  sollertia  est  navigium  sub  eundi  atque  ita  e 
tuto  proeliandi.    omnis  ergo  cura  ad  speculandum 
hoc  malum  insumitur ;  certissima  est  securitas  vidisse 
pianos  pisces,  quia  numquam  sunt  ubi  maleficae 
bestiae,  qua  de  causa  urinantes  sacros  appellant  eos. 

154      LXXI.  Silicea  testa  inclusis  fatendum  est  nullum 
esse  sensum,  ut  ostreis.    multis  eadem  natura  quae 

1  Mayhoff :  et  in  frons.  2  Radcharn, :  rapuit. 

266 


BOOK  IX.  LXX.  151-Lxxi.  154 

list  of  animals  as  the  *  cloud  '  or  *  fog,'  which  is  the 
name  the  divers  give  to  this  plague.  Divers  have 
fierce  fights  with  the  dog-fish ;  these  attack  their  loins 
and  heels  and  all  the  white  parts  of  the  body.  The 
one  safety  lies  in  going  for  them  and  frightening 
them  by  taking  the  offensive:  for  a  dog-fish  is  as 
much  afraid  of  a  man  as  a  man  is  of  it,  and  so  they 
are  on  equal  terms  in  deep  water.  When  they  come 
to  the  surface,  then  the  man  is  in  critical  danger,  as 
the  policy  of  taking  the  offensive  is  not  available 
while  he  is  trying  to  get  out  of  the  water,  and  his 
only  safety  is  in  his  comrades.  These  haul  on  the 
rope  tied  to  his  shoulders ;  this,  as  he  carries  on  the 
duel,  he  shakes  with  his  left  hand  to  give  a  signal 
of  danger,  while  his  right  hand  grasps  his  dagger 
and  is  occupied  in  fighting.  Most  of  the  time  they 
haul  gently,  but  when  he  gets  near  the  boat,  unless 
with  a  quick  heave  they  suddenly  snatch  him  out 
of  the  water,  they  have  to  look  on  while  he  is  made 
away  with.  And  often  when  divers  have  already 
begun  to  be  hauled  up  they  are  snatched  out  of 
their  comrades'  hands,  unless  they  have  themselves 
supplemented  the  aid  of  those  hauling  by  curling  up 
into  a  ball.  Others  of  the  crew  of  course  thrust 
out  harpoons,  but  the  vast  beast  is  crafty  enough  to 
go  under  the  vessel  and  so  carry  on  the  battle  in 
safety.  Consequently  divers  devote  their  whole  atten- 
tion to  keeping  a  watch  against  this  disaster ;  the  most 
reliable  token  of  safety  is  to  have  seen  some  flat-fish, 
which  are  never  found  where  these  noxious  creatures 
are — on  account  of  which  divers  call  them  the  holy  fish. 

LXXI.  It  must  be  agreed  that  creatures  enclosed  ^^ 
in  a  flinty  shell,  such  as  oysters,  have  no  senses, 
Many  have  the  same  nature  as  a  bush,  for  instance 

267 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

frutici,  ut  holothuriis,  pulmonibus,  stellis.  adeoque 
nihil  non  gignitur  in  mari  ut  cauponarum  etiam 
aestiva  animalia,  pernici  molesta  saltu  aut  quae 
capillus  maxime  celat,  exsistant  ibi l  et  circumglobata 
escae  saepe  extrahantur;  quae  causa  somnum  pis- 
cium  in  mari  noctibus  infestare  existimatur.  quibus- 
dam  vero  ipsis  innascuntur,  quo  in  numero  chalcis 
accipitur. 

155  LXXII.  Nee  venena  cessant  dira,  ut  in  lepore  qui  in 
Indico  mari  etiam  tactu  pestilens  vomitum  dissolu- 
tionemque  stomach!  protinus  creat,  in  nostro  offa 
informis  color e  tantum  lepori  similis,  in  Indis  et 
magnitudine  et  pilo,  duriore  tantum;  nee  vivus  ibi 
capitur.  aeque  pestiferum  animal  araneus  spinae  in 
dorso  aculeo  noxius.  sed  nullum  usquam  execrabilius 
quam  radius  super  caudam  eminens  trygonis  quam 
nostri  pastinacam  appellant,  quincunciali  magni- 
tudine ;  arbores  infixus  radici  necat,  arma  ut  telum 
perforat  vi  ferri  et  veneni  malo. 

156  LXXIII.  Morbos  universa  genera piscium,ut  cetera 
animalia  etiam  fera,  non  accipimus  sentire ;   verum 
aegrotare    singulos    manifestum    facit     aliquorum 
macies  cum  in  eodem  genere  praepingues  alii  capian- 
tur. 

157  LXXIV.  Quonam  modo  generent,  desiderium  et 

1  ibi  add.  Raclcham. 

0  This  chapter  contains  a  remarkable  mixture  of  truth  and 
falsehood. 

268 


BOOK  IX.  LXXI.  154-Lxxiv.  157 

the  sea-cucumber,  the  sea-lung,  the  starfish.  And  to  The  sea-fea. 
such  an  extent  is  it  the  case  that  everything  grows 
in  the  sea,  that  even  the  creatures  found  in  inns  in 
summer-time, — those  that  plague  us  with  a  quick 
jump  or  those  that  hide  chiefly  in  the  hair, — occur 
there,  and  are  often  drawn  out  of  the  water  clustering 
round  the  bait;  and  their  irritation  is  thought  to 
disturb  the  sleep  of  fish  in  the  sea  at  night.  Indeed 
on  some  kinds  of  fish  these  vermin  actually  breed 
as  parasites;  the  herring  is  believed  to  be  one  of 
these. 

LXXII.  Nor  are  there  wanting  dire  poisons,  as  in  Poisonous 
the  sea-hare  which  in  the  Indian  Ocean  infects  even  fls7ies- 
by  its  touch,  immediately  causing  vomiting  and 
laxity  of  the  stomach,  and  in  our  own  seas  the 
shapeless  lump  resembling  a  hare  in  colour  only, 
whereas  the  Indian  variety  is  also  like  a  hare  in  size 
and  in  fur,  only  its  fur  is  harder;  and  there  it  is 
never  taken  alive.  An  equally  pestiferous  creature 
is  the  weaver,  which  wounds  with  the  sharp  point 
of  its  dorsal  fin.  But  there  is  nothing  in  the  world 
more  execrable  than  the  sting  projecting  above  the 
tail  of  the  sting-ray  which  our  people  call  the 
parsnip-fish;  it  is  five  inches  long,  and  kills  trees 
when  driven  into  the  root,  and  penetrates  armour  like 
a  missile,  with  the  force  of  steel  and  with  deadly 
poison. 

LXXIIL  We  are  not  told  that  the  various  kinds  of  w™**  °f 
fish  suffer  frorh  endemic  diseases,  as  do  all  other  even 
wild  animals ;  but  that  individuals  among  them  are 
liable  to  illness  is  proved  by  the  emaciated  condition 
of  some  fish  contrasted  with  the  extreme  fatness  of 
others  of  the  same  kind  when  caught.  ^^ 

LXXIV.a  The  curiosity  and  wonder  of  mankind  does  sexual 

reproduction. 
269 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

admiratio  hominum  differri  non  patitur.  pisces 
attritu  ventrium  coeunt  tanta  celeritate  ut  visum 
fallant,  delphini  et  reliqua  cete  simili  modo  et  paulo 
diutius.  femina  piscis  coitus  tempore  marem  sequi- 
tur  ventrem  eius  rostro  pulsans,  sub  partum  l  mares 
feminas  similiter  ova  vescentes  earum.  nee  satis  est 
generation!  per  se  coitus,  nisi  editis  ovis  interversando 
mares  vitale  adsperserint  virus,  non  omnibus  id 
contingit  ovis  in  tanta  multitudine ;  alioqui  repleren- 
tur  maria  et  stagna,  cum  singuli  uteri  innumerabilia 
concipiant. 

158  Piscium  ova  in  mari  crescunt,  quaedam  summa  cele- 
ritate,   ut    murenarum,    quaedam    paulo    tardius. 
plani  piscium  quibus  cauda  non  est  2  aculeatique  et 
testudines  in  coitu  superveniunt,  polypi  crine  uno 
feminae  naribus  adnexo,  saepiae  et  lolligines  linguis, 
componentes  inter  se  bracchia   et  in   contrarium 
nantes ;  ore  et  pariunt.    sed  polypi  in  terram  verso 
capite  coeunt,  reliqua  mollium  tergis  ut  canes,  item 

159  locustae  et  squillae,  cancri  ore.    ranae  superveniunt, 
prioribus  pedibus  alas  feminae  mare  adprehendente, 
posterioribus  clunes.    pariunt  minimas  carnes  nigras, 
quas  gyrinos  vocant,  oculis  tantum  et  cauda  insignes ; 
mox  pedes  figurantur  cauda  findente  se  in  posteriores. 


1  Gden :  parfra. 

2  Lacwnam  hie  MayJioff. 


270 


BOOK  IX.  LXXIV.  157-159 

not  allow  us  to  postpone  the  consideration  of  these 
animals*  method  of  reproduction.  Fish  couple  by 
rubbing  their  bellies  together  so  quickly  as  to  escape 
the  sight ;  dolphins  and  the  rest  of  the  large  marine 
species  couple  in  a  similar  manner,  but  with  rather 
longer  contact.  At  the  coupling  season  the  female 
fish  pursues  the  male,  nudging  his  belly  with  her  nose, 
but  directly  after  the  eggs  are  born  the  males  similarly 
pursue  the  females  and  eat  their  eggs.  Copulation 
is  not  enough  in  itself  to  cause  the  birth  of  offspring, 
unless  when  the  eggs  are  laid  the  males  swim  to  and 
fro  sprinkling  them  with  life-giving  milt.  This  is 
not  achieved  with  all  the  eggs  in  so  great  a  multitude 
— otherwise,  the  seas  and  marshes  would  be  com- 
pletely filled,  since  the  uterus  of  a  single  fish  holds 
a  countless  number  of  eggs. 

Fishes'  eggs  in  the  sea  grow  in  size,  some  with 
extreme  rapidity,  for  instance  those  of  the  murena, 
some  a  little  more  slowly.  Flat  fish  not  possessing 
a  tail,  and  sting-ray  and  tortoises,  cover  the 
female  in  mating,  polyps  couple  by  attaching  a  single 
feeler  to  the  female's  nostrils,  the  two  varieties  of 
cuttle-fish  with  their  tongues,  linking  their  arms 
together  and  swimming  in  opposite  directions ;  they 
also  spawn  through  the  mouth.  But  polyps  couple 
with  their  head  turned  towards  the  ground,  all  the 
other  soft  fishes  with  their  backs — for  instance  sea- 
dogs,  and  also  langoustes  and  prawns ;  crabs  with  their 
mouth.  Frogs  cover  the  female,  the  male  grasping 
her  shoulder-blades  with  his  fore-feet  and  her  but- 
tocks with  his  hind  feet.  They  spawn  very  small 
lumps  of  dark  flesh  that  are  called  tadpoles,  possessing 
only  eyes  and  a  tail ;  but  soon  feet  are  formed  by 
the  tail  dividing  into  two  hind  legs.  And  strange 

271 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

minimque,  semestri  vita  resolvuntur  in  limum  nullo 
cernente,  et  rursus  vernis  aquis  renascuntur  quae 
fuere,  naturae  perinde  occulta  ratione,  cum  omnibus 

160  annis    id    eveniat.     et   mituli    et   pectines    sponte 
naturae  in  harenosis  proveniunt ;  quae  durioris  testae 
sunt,  ut  murices,  purpurae,  salivario  lentore,  sicut 
acescente  umore  culices ;  apua  spuma  maris  incales- 
cente  cum  admissus  est  imber;    quae  vero  siliceo 
tegmine  operiuntur,  ut  ostrea,  putrescente  limo  aut 
spuma  circa  navigia  diutius  stantia  defixosque  palos 
et  lignum  maxime.    nuper  compertum  in  ostreariis 
umorem  his  fetificum  lactis  modo  effluere/    anguillae 
atterunt  se  scopulis,  ea  strigmenta  vivescunt,  nee  alia 

161  est     earum    procreatio.     piscium    diversa    genera 
non  coeunt  praeter  squatinam  et  raiam,  ex  quibus 
nascitur  priore  parte  raiae  similis,  et  nomen  ex  utro- 
que  compositum  apud  Graecos  trahit. 

162  Quaedam  tempore  anni  gignuntur  et  in  umore  ut 
in  terra :  vere  pectines,  limaces,  hirudines ;   eadem 
tempore  evanescunt.    piscium  lupus  et  trichias  bis 
anno  parit,  et  saxatiles  omnes ;   nonnulli x  ter,  ut  2 
chalcis,  cyprini  sexiens,  scorpaenae  bis  ac  sargi,  vere 
et  autumno,  ex  planis  squatina  bis  sola,  autumno, 
occasu  vergiliarum ;  plurimi  piscium  tribus  mensibus 
Aprilij  Maio,  lunio ;  salpae  autumno ;  sargi,  torpedo, 

1  Detlefsen  :  non  mulli  aut  mulli. 

2  ut  Mayhoff :  et. 

a  Rhinobotos,  from  pCvij  and  paras. 
272 


BOOK  IX.  LXXIV.  159-162 

to  say,  after  six  months  of  life  they  melt  invisibly 
back  into  mud,  and  again  in  the  waters  of  spring- 
time are  reborn  what  they  were  before,  equally 
owing  to  some  hidden  principle  of  nature,  as  it  occurs 
every  year.  Also  mussels  and  scallops  are  produced  wan-sexual 
by  spontaneous  generation  in  sandy  waters ;  fish  with  reProdllctwn' 
harder  shells,  like  the  two  varieties  of  purple-fish, 
are  generated  by  a  sticky  juice  like  saliva,  as  gnats 
are  by  moisture  turning  sour;  the  anchovy  by  sea- 
foam  growing  warm  when  rain  gets  into  it ;  but  fish 
protected  by  a  flinty  covering,  like  oysters,  are 
generated  by  rotting  mud,  or  by  the  foam  round 
ships  that  stay  moored  for  some  time,  and  especially 
round  stakes  fixed  in  the  ground,  and  timber.  It 
has  recently  been  discovered  in  oyster-beds  that  a 
fertilizing  moisture  flows  out  of  these  fish  like  milk. 
Eels  rub  against  rocks  and  the  scrapings  come  to  life ; 
this  is  their  only  way  of  breeding.  Different  kinds 
of  fish  do  not  mate  together,  except  the  skate  and 
the  ray,  the  cross  between  which  is  like  a  ray  in 
front,  and  bears  in  Greece  a  name  a  derived  from  the 
names  of  both  parents. 

Some  creatures  are  born  at  a  fixed  season  of  the  Breeding- 
year,  water  species  as  well  as  those  on  land :  scallops  s 
and  slugs  and  leeches  in  the  spring ;  these  also  pass 
away  at  a  fixed  season.  Among  fish  the  wolf-fish 
and  the  sardine  breed  twice  a  year,  and  so  do  all  the 
rock-fish ;  some  breed  three  times,  for  instance  the 
herring;  carp  six  times;  sea-scorpions  and  sargi 
twice,  in  spring  and  autumn :  of  the  flat  fish  only  the 
skate  twice,  in  the  autumn  and  at  the  setting  of  the 
Pleiads;  most  fish  in  the  three  months  of  April, 
May  and  June;  the  stockfish  in  the  autumn,  the 
sargus,  the  torpedo  and  the  squalus  at  the  season 

273 

VOL.  m.  T 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

squall  circa  aequinoctium,  molles  vere,  saepia  omni- 
bus mensibus :  ova  eius  glutino  atramenti  ad  speciem 
uvae  cohaerentia  masculus  prosequitur  adflatu,  alias 

163  sterilescunt.    polypi  hieme  coeunt,  pariunt  vere  ova 
tortili  vibrata  pampino,  tanta  fecunditate  ut  multitu- 
dinem  ovorum  occisi  non  recipiant  cavo  capitis  quo 
praegnantes  tulere.     ea  excludunt  L  die,  e  quibus 

164  multa   propter   numerum  intercidunt.     locustae  et 
reliqua  tenuioris  crustae  ponunt  ova  subter  ipsa  l 
atque  ita  incubant:   polypus  femina  modo  in  ovis 
sedet,    modo    cavernam    cancellato    bracchiorum 
inplexu    claudit.    saepia    in    terreno    parit    inter 
harundines  aut  sicubi  enata  alga,  excludit  quint o 
decimo  die.    lolligines  in  alto  conserta  ova  edunt  ut 
saepiae.    purpurae,    murices    eiusdemque    generis 
vere  pariunt.    echini  ova  pleniluniis  habent  hieme, 
et  cocleae  hiberno  tempore  nascuntur. 

165  LXXV.  Torpedo  octogenos  fetus  habens  invenitur, 
eaque  intra  se  parit  ova  praemollia,  in  alium  locum 
uteri  transferens  atque  ibi  excludens;    simili  modo 
omnia  quae  cartilaginea  appellavimus  :  ita  fit  ut  sola 
piscium  et  animal  pariant  et  ova  concipiant.     silurus 
mas  solus   omnium   edita  custodit   ova,   saepe   et 
quinquagenis    diebus,    ne    absumantur    ab    aliis. 
ceterae  feminae  in  triduo  excludunt  si  mas  attigit. 

1  Mayhoff  ex  Aristotde :  super  ova. 

a  See  §  78. 
274 


BOOK  IX.  LXXIV.  i62-LXxv.  165 

of  the  equinox ;  soft  fish  in  the  spring ;  the  cuttle- 
fish in  all  the  months — its  eggs  stick  together  with 
an  inky  gum  like  a  bunch  of  grapes,  and  the  male 
directs  his  breath  upon  them,  otherwise  they  are 
barren.  Polyps  mate  in  winter  and  lay  eggs  in 
spring  that  cluster  in  a  twisting  coil ;  and  they  are 
so  prolific  that  when  they  are  killed  the  cavity  of 
their  head  will  not  hold  the  multitude  of  eggs  that 
they  carried  in  it  when  pregnant.  They  lay  them 
after  seven  weeks}  many  of  them  perishing  because 
of  their  number.  Langoustes  and  the  rest  of  the 
species  with  rather  thin  shells  deposit  their  eggs 
underneath  them  and  so  hatch  them;  the  female 
polyp  now  sits  on  the  eggs  and  now  forms  a  closed 
cavern  with  her  tentacles  intertwined  in  a  lattice. 
The  sepia  lays  on  land  among  reeds  or  wherever 
there  is  seaweed  growing,  and  hatches  after  a  fort- 
night. The  cuttle-fish  produces  its  eggs  in  deep 
water  clustered  together  like  those  of  the  sepia. 
The  purple-fish,  the  murex  and  their  kind  spawn 
in  spring.  Sea-urchins  have  eggs  at  the  full  moons 
in  winter,  and  snails  are  born  in  the  winter  time. 

LXXV.  The  electric  ray  is  found  having  broods  ^^io 
numbering  eighty;    also  it  produces   exceedingly °/pectes of 
small  eggs  inside  it,  shifting  them  to  another  part  of  &*• 
the  womb  and  emitting  them  there;  and  similarly 
all  the  species  that  we  have  designated a  cartilaginous : 
thus  it  comes  about  that  these  are  the  only  fish 
kinds    that    are    both   viviparous    and   oviparous. 
With  the  catfish  alone   of  all   species   the  male 
guards  the  eggs,  often  for  as  long  as  50  days  at 
a  time,  to  prevent  their  being  eaten  by  other  fish. 
The  females  of  all  the  other  species  spawn  in  three 
days  if  a  male  has  touched  them. 

275 

T2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

166  LXXVI.  Acus  sive  belone  unus  piscium  dehiscente 
propter  multitudinem  utero  parit ;  a  partu  coalescit 
vulnus,  quod  et  in  caecis  serpentibus  tradunt.     mus 
marinns  in  terra  scrobe  effosso  parit  ova  et  rursus 
obruit  terra,  tricesimo  die  refossa  aperit  fetumque  in 
aquam  ducit. 

LXXVII.  Erythini  et  channae  volvas  habere 
traduntur,  qui  trochos  appellatur  a  Graecis  ipse  se 
inire.  fetus  omnium  aquatilium  inter  initia  visu 
carent. 

167  LXXVIII.   Aevi    piscium    memorandum    nuper 
exemplum  accepimus.     Pausilypum  villa  est  Cam- 
paniae  haut  procul  Neapoli ;  in  ea  in  Caesaris  piscinis 
a  Polione  Vedio  coniectum  piscem  sexagensimum 
post  annum  expirasse  scribit  Annaeus  Seneca,  duo- 
bus  aliis  aequalibus  eius  ex  eodem  genere  etiam  tune 
viventibus.    quae    mentio    piscinarum    admonet   ut 
paulo  plura  dicamus  hac  de  re  priusquam  digrediamur 
ab  aquatilibus. 

168  LXXIX.  Ostrearum     vivaria     primus      omnium 
Sergius  Grata  invenit  in  Baiano  aetate  L,  Crassi 
oratoris,  ante  Marsicum  bellum,  nee  gulae  causa  sed 
avaritiae,  magna  vectigalia  tali  ex  ingenio  suo  perci- 
piens,  ut  qui  primus  pensiles  invenerit  balineas,  ita 
mangonicatas  villas  subinde  vendendo.     is  primus 
optimum    saporem    ostreis     Lucrinis     adiudicavit, 
quando  eadem  aquatilium  genera  aliubi  atque  aliubi 

169  meliora,  sicut  lupi  pisces  in  Tiber!  amne  inter  duos 
pontes,  rhombus  Ravennae,  murena  in  Sicilia,  elops 

a  See  §  56. 
6  Unidentifiable. 
e  I.e.  Sans  Souci. 
d  91-88  B.C. 

*  Perhaps  the  Snblician  and  the  Palatine. 
276 


BOOK  IX.  LXXVI.  i66-LXxix.  169 

LXXVL  The  hornfish  or  garfish  is  the  only  fish 
so  prolific  that  its  matrix  is  ruptured  when  it  spawns ; 
after  spawning  the  wound  grows  together,  which  is 
said  to  happen  in  the  case  of  blindworms  also.  The 
sea-mouse  digs  a  trench  in  the  ground  to  lay  its  eggs 
in  and  covers  it  again  with  earth,  and  a  month  later 
digs  the  earth  up  again  and  opens  the  trench  and 
leads  its  brood  into  the  water. 

LXXVII.  The  red  mullet  and  the  sea-perch  «  are 
said  to  have  wombs.  The  species  called  by  the  Greeks 
hoop-fish &  is  said  to  practise  self-impregnation.  The 
offspring  of  all  aquatic  animals  are  blind  at  birth. 

LXXVIII.  There  has  recently  been  sent  to  us  a  Longevity 
remarkable  case  of  longevity  in  fishes.    In  Campania  &*' 
not  far  from  Naples,  there  is  a  country  house  named 
Posilipo c ;  Annaeus  Seneca  writes  that  in  Caesar's 
fishponds  on  this  property  a  fish  thrown  in  by  Polio 
Veotius  had  died  after  reaching  the  age  of  60,  while 
two  others  of  the  same  breed  that  were  of  the  same 
age  were  even  then  living.    The  mention  of  fishponds 
reminds  me  to  say  a  little  more  on  this  topic  before 
leaving  the  subject  of  aquatic  animals. 

LXXIX.  Oyster  ponds  were  first  invented  by  < 
Sergius  Orata  on  the  Gulf  of  Baiae,  in  the  time  of 
the  orator  Lucius  Crassus,  before  the  Marsian  war<*; 
his  motive  was  not  greed  but  avarice,  and  he  made  a 
great  profit  out  of  his  practical  ingenuity,  as  he  was 
the  first  inventor  of  showerbaths — he  used  to  fit  out 
country  houses  in  this  way  and  then  sell  them.  He 
was  the  first  to  adjudge  the  best  flavour  to  Lucrine 
oysters—because  the  same  kinds  of  fish  are  of  better 
quality  in  different  places,  for  example  wolf-fish  in  the 
Tiber  between  the  two  bridges  «,  turbot  at  Ravenna, 
lamprey  in  Sicily,  sturgeon  at  Rhodes,  and  other  kinds 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

Rhodi,  et  alia  genera  similiter,  ne  culinarum  censura 
peragatur.  nondum  Britannica  serviebant  litora 
cum  Grata  Lucrina  nobilitabat ;  postea  visum  tanti 
in  extremam  Italiam  petere  Brundisium  ostreas,  ac  ne 
lis  esset  inter  duos  sapor es,  nuper  excogitatum 
famem  longae  advectionis  a  Brundisio  conpascere  in 
Lucrino. 

170  LXXX.  Eadem    aetate    prior    Licinius    Murena 
reliquorum  piscium   vivaria   invenit,    cuius    deinde 
exemplum  nobilitas  secuta  est  Philippi,  Hortensi. 
Lucullus  exciso  etiam  monte  iuxta  Neapolim  maiore 
impendio  quam  villam  exaedificaverat  euripum  et 
maria   admisit,   qua   de   causa   Magnus    Pompeius 
Xerxen    togatum    eum    appellabat.        ]XL[     HS    e 
piscina  ea 1  defuncto  illo  veniere  pisces. 

171  LXXXL  Murenarum  vivarium  privatim   excogi- 
tavit  ante  alios  C.  Hirrius,  qui  cenis  triumphalibus 
Caesaris   dictatoris   sex  milia  numero   murenarum 
mutua  appendit;    nam  permutare   quidem  pretio 
noluit    aHave    merce.    huius    villam    infra2    quam 

172  modicam    [XL|    piscinae   vendiderunt.     invasit    dein 
singulorum  piscium   amor,     apud  Baulos   in  parte 
Baiana  piscinam  habuit  Hortensius  orator   in  qua 
murenam  adeo  dilexit  ut  exanimatam  flesse  creda- 
tur.    in  eadem  villa  Antonia  Drusi  murenae  quam 
diligebat  inaures  addidita  cuius  propter  famam  non- 
nulli  Baulos  videre  concupiverunt, 

1  Mayhqff :  XL  Mi  se  pisimae  a  aut  alia. 

2  Mayhoffi  intra. 

0  Xerxes  made  a  channel  for  his  fleet  through  Mount 
Athos. 

b  46and45B.o. 

e  The  colloquial  use  of  video,  'go  to  see,'  survives  in 
Italian,  e.g. '  Vede  Napoli  e  poi  mori.' 

278 


BOOK  IX.  LXXIX.  i69^Lxxxr.  172 

likewise — not  to  carry  out  this  census  of  the  larder 
to  its  conclusion.  The  coasts  of  Britain  were  not  yet 
in  service  when  Orata  used  to  advertise  the  fame  of 
the  products  of  the  Lago  Lucrino ;  but  subsequently 
it  was  deemed  worth  while  to  send  to  the  end  of 
Italy,  to  Brindisi,  for  oysters,  and  to  prevent  a 
quarrel  between  the  two  delicacies  the  plan  has 
lately  been  devised  of  feeding  away  in  the  Lago 
Lucrino  the  hunger  caused  by  the  long  porterage 
from  Brindisi. 

LXXX.  In  the  same  period  the  elder  Licmius  Fishponds. 
Murena  invented  fishponds  for  all  the  other  sorts  of 
fish,  and  his  example  was  subsequently  followed  by 
the  celebrated  record  of  Philip  and  Hortensius. 
Lucullus  had  built  a  channel  that  cost  more  than  a 
country  house,  by  actually  cutting  through  a  moun- 
tain near  Naples  and  letting  in  the  sea ;  this  was  why 
Pompey  the  Great  used  to  call  him  '  Xerxes a  in 
Eoman  dress.'  After  his  decease  the  fish  from  this 
pond  sold  for  4,000,000  sesterces,  v 

LXXXI.  The  first  person  to  devise  a  separate 
pond  for  lampreys  was  Gains  Hirrius,  who  added  to 
the  triumphal  banquets 6  of  Caesar  lampreys  to  the 
number  of  6000 — as  a  loan,  because  he  would  not 
exchange  them  for  money  or  for  any  other  commodity. 
His  less  than  moderate  country  estate  was  sold  by 
its  fishponds  for  4,000,000  sesterces.  Subsequently 
affection  for  individual  fishes  came  into  .fashion.  At 
Baculo  in  the  Baiae  district  the  pleader  Hortensius 
had  a  fishpond  containing  a  lamprey  which  he  feH 
so  deeply  in  love  with  that  he  is  believed  to  have 
wept  when  it  expired.  At  the  same  country  house 
Drusus's  wife  Antonia  adorned  her  favourite  lamprey 
with  earrings,  and  its  reputation  made  some  people 
extremely  eager  to  visit  Baculo.c 

279 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTOEY 

173  LXXXIL  Coclearum     vivaria    instituit     Fulvius 
Lippinus  In  Tarquiniensi  paulo  ante  civile  bellum 
quod  cum  Pompeio  Magno  gestum  est,  distinctis 
quidem  generibus  earum,  separatim  ut  essent  albae 
quae  in  Reatino  agro  nascuntur,  separatim  Illyricae 
quibus    magnitude    praecipua,    Africanae     quibus 

174  fecunditas,    Solitanae    quibus    nobilitas.     quin    et 
saginam  earum  commentus  est  sapa  et  farre  aliisque 
generibus,  ut  cocleae   quoque  altiles  ganeam  im- 
plerent :    cuius  artis  gloriam  in  earn  magnitudinem 
perductam    esse    ut 1    LXXX    quadrantes    caperent 
singularum  calyces  auctor  est  M.  Varro. 

175  LXXXIII,  Piscium   genera    etiamnum    a    Theo- 
phrasto  mira  produntur,  circa  Babylonis  rigua  dece- 
dentibus     fluviis    in    cavernis    aquas    habentibus 
remanere  quosdam,  inde  exire  ad  pabula  pinnulis 
gradient es  crebro  caudae  motu,  contraque  venantes 
refugere  in  suas  cavernas  et  in  his  obverses  stare, 
capita  eorum  esse  ranae  marinae  similia,  reliquas 
partes    gobionum,    branchias    ut    ceteris    piscibus. 

176  circa  Heracleam  et  Cromnam  et  multifariam  in  Ponto 
unum  genus  esse  quod  extremas  fluminum  aquas 
sectetur  cavernasque  sibi  faciat  in  terra  atque  in  his 
vivat,  etiam  reciprocis  amnibus  siccato  litore,  effodi 
ergo  motu  demum  corporum  vivere  eos  adprobante. 

177  circa  eandem  Heracleam  [eodemque]  2  Lyco  amne 

1  Rackham :  perducta  ait.  2  seclusit  MayTioff. 

0  Begun  in  49  B,C.  *  The  genus  periophtfidlmus. 

280 


BOOK  IX.  LXXXII.  173-Lxxxm.  177 

LXXXII.  Ponds  for  keeping  snails  were  first  made 
by  Fulvius  Lippinus  in  the  Trachina  district  a  little 
before  the  civil  war  a  fought  with  Pompey  the  Great ; 
indeed  he  kept  the  different  kinds  of  snails  separate, 
with  different  compartments  for  the  white  snails 
that  grow  in  the  Eieti  territory  and  for  the  Illyrian 
variety  distinguished  for  size,  the  African  for 
fecundity  and  the  Solitane  for  breed.  Moreover  he 
devised  a  method  of  fattening  them  with  new  wine 
boiled  down  and  spelt  and  other  kinds  of  fodder, 
so  that  gastronomy  was  enriched  even  by  fattened 
oysters ;  and  according  to  Marcus  Varro  this  osten- 
tatious science  was  carried  to  such  lengths  that 
a  single  snail-shell  was  large  enough  to  hold  80 
quarts. 

LXXXIII.  Moreover  some  wonderful  kinds  of  fish  Rema.T'kabie 
are  reported  by  Theophrastus.  He  says  that  ( 
where  the  rivers  debouch  around  the  water-meadows 
of  Babylon  a  certain  fish&  stays  in  caverns  that  contain 
springs  and  goes  out  from  them  to  feed,  walking  with 
its  fins  by  means  of  a  repeated  movement  of  the  tail, 
and  guards  against  being  caught  by  taking  refuge  in 
its  caves  and  remaining  in  them  facing  towards  the 
opening,  and  that  these  fishes'  heads  resemble  a  sea- 
frog's  and  the  rest  of  its  parts  a  goby's,  though  the 
gills  are  the  same  as  in  other  fish.  (2)  In  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Heraclea  and  Cromna  and  in  many 
parts  of  the  Black  Sea  there  is  one  kind  that  fre- 
quents the  water  at  the  edge  of  rivers  and  makes 
itself  caverns  in  the  ground  and  lives  in  these,  and 
also  in  the  shore  of  tidal  rivers  when  left  dry  by  the 
tide ;  and  consequently  they  are  only  dug  up  when 
the  movement  of  their  bodies  shows  that  they  are 
alive.  (5)  In  the  same  neighbourhood  of  Heraclea 

281 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

decedente  ovis  relictis  in  limo  generari  pisces  qui  ad 
pabula  petenda  palpitent  exiguis  branchiis,  quo  fieri 
non  indigos  unions,  propter  quod  et  anguillas  diutius 
vivere  exemptas  aquis,  ova  autem  in  sicco  maturari 
ut  testudinum.  eadem  in  Ponti  regione  adprehendi 
glacie  piscium  maxime  gobiones  non  nisi  patinarum 

178  calore  vitalem  motum  fatentis.     est  in  his  quidem, 
tametsi    mirabilibus,1    tamen    aliqua    ratio,    idem 
tradit  in  Paphlagonia  effodi  pisces  gratissimos  cibis 
terrenos  altis  scrobibus  in  iis  locis  in  quibus  nullae 
restagnent    aquae ;    miratusque 2   ipse    gigni    sine 
coitu  umoris  quidem  vim  aliquam  inesse  quam  puteis 
arbitratur — ceu  vero  in   ullis  3  reperiantur  pisces ! 
quicquid  est  hoc,  certe  minus  admirabilem  talparum 
facit  vitam,  subterranei  animalis,  nisi  forte  vermium 
terrenorum  et  his  piscibus  natura  inest. 

179  LXXXIV.  Verum  omnibus  his  fidem  Nili  inundatio 
adfert  omnia  excedente  miraculo :  quippe  detegente 
eo  musculi  reperiuntur  inchoato  opere  genitalis  aquae 
terraeque,   iam  parte   corporis   viventes   novissima 
effigie  etiamnum  terrena. 

180  LXXXV.  Nee  de  anthia  pisce  silere  convenit  ea 
quae    plerosque    adverto    credidisse.     Chelidonias 


1  Rackham  :  mirabilis.  a  v.l.  miraturque, 

3  Jan  :  vero  nullis. 


282 


BOOK  IX,  LXXXIII.  i77~LXxxv.  180 

at  the  outflow  of  the  river  Lycus  fishes  are  born  from 
eggs  left  in  the  mud  that  seek  their  fodder  by 
flapping  with  their  little  gills,  and  this  makes  them  not 
need  moisture,  which  is  the  reason  why  eels  also  live 
comparatively  long  when  taken  out  of  the  water} 
while  eggs  mature  in  a  dry  place,  for  instance 
tortoise's  eggs.  (4)  In  the  same  region  of  the  Black 
Sea  the  fish  most  frequently  caught  in  the  ice  is  the 
goby,  which  is  only  made  to  reveal  the  movement 
of  life  by  the  heat  of  the  saucepan.  These  accounts 
indeed,  however  marvellous,  do  nevertheless  embody 
a  certain  principle.  The  same  authority  reports  that 
in  Paphlagonia  earth-fish  extremely  acceptable  for 
food  are  dug  out  of  deep  trenches  in  places  where 
there  is  no  overflow  from  streams ;  and  after  himself 
expressing  surprise  at  their  being  propagated  with- 
out coupling,  he  gives  the  view  that  at  all  events 
they  have  a  supply  of  moisture  in  them  similar  to 
that  in  wells — but  as  if  fish  were  found  in  any  wells  1 
Whatever  the  fact  is  as  to  this,  it  certainly  makes 
the  life  of  moles,  an  underground  animal,  less  re- 
markable, unless  perhaps  these  fishes  also  possess 
the  nature  of  earth-worms. 

LXXXIV.  But  credibility  is  given  to  all  these  siiewater- 
statements  by  the  flooding  of  the  Nile,  with  a  marvel  mce' 
that  surpasses  them  all :  this  is  that,  when  the  river 
withdraws  its  covering,  water-mice  are  found  with  the 
work  of  generative  water  and  earth  uncompleted — 
they  are  already  alive  in  a  part  of  their  body,  but 
the  most  recently  formed  part  of  their  structure  is 
still  of  earth. 

LXXXV.  Nor  is  it  proper  to  omit  the  stories  about 
the  antUas  fish  that  I  notice  to  have  won  general 
acceptance.  We  have  mentioned  the  Swallow 

283- 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

insulas  diximus  Asiae  scopulosi  maris  ante  promun- 
turium  Tauri1  sitas;  ibi  frequens  hie  piscis  et 
celeriter  capitur  uno  genere.  parvo  navigio  et  con- 
colori  veste  eademque  hora  per  aliquot  dies  con- 
tinues piscator  enavigat  certo  spatio  escamque 
proicit ;  quicquid  vero  2  mutetur  suspecta  fraus 
praedae  est,  cavetque  quod  timuit.  cum  id  saepe 
factum  est,  unus  aliquando  consuetudine  invitatus 

181  anthias    escam    appetit.      notatur    Me    intentione 
diligenti   ut   auctor   spei   conciliatorque   capturae; 
neque  est  difficile,  cum  per  aliquot  dies  solus  accedere 
audeat.      tandem    et   alios 3    invenit,   paulatimque 
comitatior  postremo  greges  adducit  innumeros,  iam 
vetustissimis  quibusque  adsuetis  piscatorem  agnos- 
cere  et  e  manu  cibum  rapere.    turn  ille  paulum 
ultra    digitos    in    esca    iaculatiis    hamum   singulos 
involat  verius  quam  capit,  ab  umbra  navis  brevi 
conatu  rapiens  4  it  a  ne  ceteri  sentiant,  alio  intus 
excipiente  centonibus  raptum  ne  palpitatio  ulla  aut 

182  sonus  ceteros  abigat.    conciliatorem  nosse  ad  hoc 
prodest,  ne  capiatur,  fugituro  in  reliquum  grege. 
ferunt  discordem  socium  duci  insidiatum  pulchre  noto 
cepisse  malefica  voluntate ;  agnitum  in  macello  a  socio 
cuius  injuria  erat  et  damni  formulam  editam  con- 

1  Tauri  add.  post  ante  Hermolaus,  hie  MayJioff. 

2  Mayhoff :  quicquid  ex  eo. 

3  alios  ?  Mayhoff :  aliquos. 

4  Gelen:  conatur  absens. 

a  Now  Allah.  Dagh,  in  south-east  Asia  Minor. 
284 


BOOK  IX.  LXXXV.  180-182 

Islands,  situated  off  a  promontory  of  Mt.  Taurus a 
in  the  rocky  sea  of  Asia ;  this  fish  is  frequent  there, 
and  is  quickly  caught,  in  one  variety.  A  fisherman 
sails  out  a  certain  distance  in  a  small  "boat,  wearing 
clothes  that  match  the  boat  in  colour.,  and  at  the 
same  time  for  several  days  running,  and  throws  out 
bait;  but  if  any  alteration  whatever  be  made,  the 
prey  suspects  a  trick  and  avoids  the  thing  that  has 
frightened  it.  When  this  has  been  done  a  number 
of  times*  at  last  one  anthias  is  tempted  by  familiarity 
to  try  to  get  the  bait.  This  one  is  marked  down 
with  careful  attention  as  a  foundation  for  hope  and 
as  a  decoy  for  a  catch;  and  it  is  not  difficult  to 
mark  it,  as  for  several  days  only  this  one  ventures 
to  come  close.  At  last  it  finds  others  as  well,  and 
gradually  enlarging  its  company  finally  brings  shoals 
too  big  to  count,  as  by  this  time  all  the  oldest  fish 
have  got  used  to  recognizing  the  fisherman  and 
snatching  the  bait  out  of  his  hand.  Then  he  throws 
a  hook  fixed  in  the  bait  a  little  beyond  his  fingers, 
and  catches  or  rather  rushes  them  one  by  one, 
snatching  them,  with  a  short  jerk  away  from  the 
shadow  of  the  boat  so  that  the  others  may  not 
notice  it,  while  another  man  in  the  boat  receives 
the  catch  in  some  rags  so  that  no  flapping  or  noise 
may  drive  away  the  others.  It  pays  to  know  the 
decoy  fish  for  this  purpose,  so  that  he  may  not 
be  caught,  as  thenceforward  the  shoal  will  swim 
away.  There  is  a  story  that  a  disaffected  partner  in 
a  fishery  lay  in  wait  for  the  leader  fish,  which  was 
very  well  known,  and  caught  it,  with  malicious 
intent ;  Mucianus  adds  that  it  was  recognized  in  the 
market  by  the  partner  who  was  being  victimized, 
and  that  proceedings  for  damage  were  instituted  and 

285 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

demnatumque  addit  Mucianus  aestimata  lite,  idem 
anthi&e,  cum  unum  hamo  teneri  viderint,  spinis  quas 
in  dorso  serratas  habent  lineam  secare  traduntur  eo 
qui  teneatur  extendente  ut  praecidi  possit.  at  inter 
sargos  ipse  qui  tenetur  ad  scopulos  lineam  terit. 

183  LXXXVI.  Praeter  haec  claros  sapientia  auctores 
video  mirari  stellam  in  mari:    ea  figura  est,  parva 
admodum  caro  intus,  extra  duriore  callo.    huic  tam 
igneum  fervorem  esse  tradunt  ut   omnia  in  mari 
contacta    adurat,    omnem    cibum    statim   peragat. 
quibus  sit  hoc  cognitum  experimentis  baud  facile 
dixerim,  multoque  memorabilius  duxerim  *  id  cuius 
experiendi  cotidie  occasio  est. 

184  LXXXVII.  Concharum  e  genere  sunt  dactyli,  ab 
humanorum    unguium    similitudine    appellati.    his 
natura  in  tenebris  remoto  lumine  alio  fulgere  claro,2 
et   quanto  magis   umorem  habeant   lucere   in  ore 
mandentium,  lucere  in  manibus  atque  etiam  in  solo 
ac  veste  decidentibus  guttis,  ut  procul  dubio  pateat 
suci  illam  naturam  esse  quam  miraremur  etiam  in 
corpore. 

185  LXXXVIIL    Sunt       et       inimicitiarum       atque 
concordiae  miracula.    mugil  et  lupus  mutuo  odio 
flagrant,  conger  et  murena,  caudam  inter  se  praero- 

1  Gden  :  dicerim.  2  v.L  clare. 

«  I.e.  the  star-fish. 
286 


BOOK  IX.  LXXXV.  i82-LXxxviii.  185 

a  verdict  given  for  the  prosecution  with  damages  as 
assessed.  Moreover  it  is  said  that  when  these  fishes 
see  one  of  their  number  hooked  they  cut  the  line 
with  the  saw-like  prickles  that  they  have  on  their 
back,  while  the  one  held  by  the  line  draws  it  taut  so 
as  to  enable  it  to  be  severed.  With  the  sargus  kind 
however  the  captive  itself  rubs  the  line  against  the 
rocks. 

•  LXXXVI.  Besides  these  cases  I  observe  that  The  starfish. 
authors  renowned  for  their  wisdom  express  surprise 
at  there  being  a  star  in  the  sea  :  that  is  the  shape 
of  the  fish/1  which  has  rather  little  flesh  inside  it  but 
a  rather  hard  rind  outside.  They  say  that  this  fish 
contains  such  fiery  heat  that  it  scorches  all  the  things 
it  touches  in  the  sea,  and  digests  all  food  immedi- 
ately. I  cannot  readily  say  by  what  experiments 
this  has  been  ascertained,  and  I  should  consider  a 
fact  that  there  is  daily  opportunity  of  experiencing 
to  be  much  more  worth  recording. 

LXXXVII.  The  class  shellfish  includes  the  piddock,  The  pm>dc. 
named  finger-mussel  from  its  resemblance  to  a 
human  finger-nail.  It  is  the  nature  of  these  fish  to 
shine  in  darkness  with  a  bright  light  when  other 
light  is  removed,  and  in  proportion  to  their  amount 
of  moisture  to  glitter  both  in  the  mouth  of  persons 
masticating  them  and  in  their  hands,  and  even  on  the 
floor  and  on  their  clothes  when  drops  fall  from  them, 
making  it  clear  beyond  all  doubt  that  their  juice 
possesses  a  property  that  we  should  marvel  at  even  in 
a  solid  object. 

LXXXVIII.  There  are  also  remarkable  facts  as 


their  quarrels  and  their  friendship.    Violent  ani-  p 


mosity  rages  between  the  mullet  and  the  wolf-fish, 
and  between  the  conger  and  the  lamprey,  which  fish. 

287 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

dentes.  polypum  in  tantum  locust  a  pavet  ut  si 
iuxta  viderit  omnino  moriatur,  locustam  conger; 
rursus  polypum  congri  lacerant.  Nigidius  auctor  est 
praerodere  caudam  mugili  lupum.  eosdemque 
statis1  mensibus  Concordes  esse,  omnes  autem 
186  vivere  quibus  caudae  sic  amputentur.  at  e  contrario 
aroicitiae  exempla  sunt,  praeter  ilia  quorum  diximus 
soeietatem,  ballaena  et  musculus,  quando  praegravi 
superciliorum  pondere  obrutis  eius  ocuhs  infestantia 
magnitudinem  vada  praenatans  demonstrat  oculo- 
rumque  vice  fungitur. 
Hinc  volucrum  naturae  dicentur. 

1  v.L  aestatis. 


288 


BOOK  IX.  LXXXVIII.  185-186 

gnaw  each  other's  tails.  The  langouste  is  so  terrified 
of  the  polyp  that  it  dies  if  it  merely  sees  one  near 
to  it,  and  so  does  the  conger  if  it  sees  a  langouste ; 
while  on  the  other  hand  congers  tear  a  polyp  to 
pieces.  Nigidius  states  that  the  wolf-fish  gnaws 
at  the  tail  of  the  mullet,  although  they  are  friendly 
together  in  certain  months,  but  that  all  the  mullets 
with  their  tails  amputated  in  this  way  continue  to 
live.  But  on  the  other  hand  instances  of  friendship, 
in  addition  to  the  creatures  whose  alliance  we  have 
mentioned,*  are  the  whale  and  the  sea-mouse : 
because  the  whale's  eyes  are  over-burdened  with 
the  excessively  heavy  weight  of  its  brows  the  sea- 
mouse  swims  in  front  of  it  and  points  out  the 
shallows  dangerous  to  its  bulky  size,  so  acting  as 
a  substitute  for  eyes. 

There  will  follow  an  account  of  the  natures  of  birds. 

«  See  §  142. 


VOL.  III. 


BOOK  X 


LIBER  X 

I.  Sequitur  natura  avium,  quarum  grandissimi  et 
paene  bestlarum  generis  struthocameli  Africi  vel 
Aethlopici  altitudinem  equitis  insidentis  equo  exce- 
dunt,  celeritatem  vincunt,  ad  hoc  demum  datis 
pinnis  ut  currentem  adiuvent:  cetero  non  sunt 
volucres  nee  a  terra  attolluntur.1  ungulae  iis  cer- 
vinis  similes  quibus  dimicant,  bisulcae  et  conpre- 
hendendis  lapidibus  utiles  quos  in  fuga  contra 

2  sequentes     ingerunt    pedibus.     concoquendi     sine 
dilectu  devorata  mira  natura,  sed  non  minus  stoli- 
ditas  in  tanta  reliqui  corporis  altitudine  cum  colla 
frutice     occultaverint    latere    sese    existimantium. 
praemira  2  ex  iis  ova  propter  amplitudinem  quibus- 
dam  habita  pro  vasis,  conosque  bellicos  et  galeas 
adornantes  pinnae. 

3  II.  Aethiopiae  atque  Indis  discolores  maxime  et 
inenarrabiles  esse  3  ferunt  aves  et  ante  omnes  nobilem 
Arabiae  phoenicem,  haut  scio  an  fabulose,  unum  in 
toto  orbe  nee  visum  magno  opere.     aquilae  narratur 
magnitudine,  auri  fulgore  circa  colla,  cetero  pur- 
pureus,   caeruleam  roseis   caudam  pinnis   distingu- 

1  MayJwffi  tolluntur. 

2  Dettefsen :  praemia. 

3  sic  ?  Mayhoff :  Aethiopes  atque  Indi  .  .  .  iuenarrabiles. 

a  This  description  tallies  fairly  closely  with,  the  golden 
pheasant  of  the  Par  East. 

292 


BOOK  X 

I.  THE  next  subject  is  the  Nature  of  Birds.    Of  Birds.   The 
these  the  largest  species,  which  almost  belongs  to  the ostnch* 
class  of  animals,  the  ostrich  of  Africa  or  Ethiopia, 
exceeds  the  height  and  surpasses  the  speed  of  a 
mounted  horseman,  its  wings  being  bestowed  upon 

it  merely  as  an  assistance  in  running,  but  otherwise 
it  is  not  a  flying  creature  and  does  not  rise  from 
the  earth.  It  has  talons  resembling  a  stag's  hooves, 
which  it  uses  as  weapons ;  they  are  cloven  in  two, 
and  are  useful  for  grasping  stones  which  when  in 
flight  it  flings  with  its  feet  against  its  pursuers.  Its 
capacity  for  digesting  the  objects  that  it  swallows 
down  indiscriminately  is  remarkable,  but  not  less  so 
is  its  stupidity  in  thinking  that  it  is  concealed  when 
it  has  hidden  its  neck  among  bushes,  in  spite  of  the 
great  height  of  the  rest  of  its  body.  The  eggs  of  the 
ostrich  are  extremely  remarkable  for  their  size; 
some  people  use  them  as  vessels,  and  the  feathers  for 
adorning  the  crests  and  helmets  of  warriors. 

II.  They  say  that  Ethiopia  and  the  Indies  possess  The  phoenix. 
birds  extremely  variegated  in  colour  and  indescrib- 
able, and  that  Arabia  has  one  that  is  famous  before 

all  others  (though  perhaps  it  is  fabulous),  the  phoenix, 
the  only  one  in  the  whole  world  and  hardly  ever 
seen.  The  story  is  a  that  it  is  as  large  as  an  eagle,  and 
has  a  gleam  of  gold  round  its  neck  and  all  the  rest  of 
it  is  purple,  but  the  tail  blue  picked  out  with  rose- 

293 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

entibus,    cristis     fauces,    caputque    plumeo     apice 

4  honestante.     primus  atque  diligentissime  togatorum 
de  eo  prodidit  Manilius  senator  ille  maximis  nobilis 
doctrinis    doctore    miller,     neminem    exstitisse    qui 
viderit   vescentem,    sacrum    in    Arabia    Soli    esse, 
vivere    annis   DXL,   senescentem    cassiae    turisque 
surculis    cons  truer  e    nidum,    replere    odoribus     et 
superemori ;  ex  ossibus  deinde  et  medullis  eius  nasci 
primo  ceu  vermiculum,  inde  fieri  pullum,  principioque 
iusta  funera  priori  reddere  et  totum  deferre  nidum 
prope  Panchaiam  inSolis  urbem  et  in  ara  ibi  deponere. 

5  cum  huius  alitis  vita  magni  conversionem  anni  fieri 
prodit    idem    Manilius,    iterumque    significationes 
tempestatum  et  siderum  easdem  reverti,  hoc  autem 
circa    meridiem   incipere    quo    die    signum    arietis 
sol  intraverit,   et    fuisse    eius    conversions   annum 
prodente   se   P.    Licinio    Cn.    Cornelio    coss.    ccxv. 
Cornelius    Valerianus    phoenicem    devolavisse    in 
Aegyptum  tradit  Q.  Plautio   Sexto   Papinio   coss. ; 
allatus  est  et  in  urbem  Claudii  principis   censura 
anno    urbis    r>ccc    et    in  comitio  propositus,   quod 
actis   testatum   est,   sed   quern   falsum   esse   nemo 
dubitaret. 

6  III.  Ex  his  quas  novimus  aquilae  maximus  honos, 
maxima    et   vis.     sex  earum  genera,  melanaetos  a 

a   97  B.C.  &  A.D.   36.  e   A.D.  47. 

d  Of  these  melanaetos  is  either  the  Golden  or  the  Imperial 
Eagle,  yygargus  is  the  White-tailed  Sea-Eagle  or  erne, 
Twliaetos  the  Osprey,  morphnos  or  percnos  the  Bald  Buzzard ; 
but  percnopterus  and  gnesius  are  unidentifiable  as  species 
separate  from  the  others. 

294 


BOOK  X.  ii.  3-ra.  6 

coloured  feathers  and  the  throat  picked  out  with 
tufts ,  and  a  feathered  crest  adorning  its  head.  The 
first  and  the  most  detailed  Roman  account  of  it  was 
given  by  Manilius,  the  eminent  senator  famed  for 
his  extreme  and  varied  learning  acquired  without  a 
teacher:  he  stated  that  nobody  has  ever  existed 
that  has  seen  one  feeding,  that  in  Arabia  it  is 
sacred  to  the  Sun-god,  that  it  lives  540  years,  that 
when  it  is  growing  old  it  constructs  a  nest  with 
sprigs  of  wild  cinnamon  and  frankincense,  fills  it 
with  scents  and  lies  on  it  till  it  dies ;  that  subse- 
quently from  its  bones  and  marrow  is  born  first  a 
sort  of  maggot,  and  this  grows  into  a  chicken,  and  that 
this  begins  by  paying  due  funeral  rites  to  the  former 
bird  and  carrying  the  whole  nest  down  to  the  City 
of  the  Sun  near  Panchaia  and  depositing  it  upon  an 
altar  there.  Manilius  also  states  that  the  period  of 
the  Great  Year  coincides  with  the  life  of  this  bird, 
and  that  the  same  indications  of  the  seasons  and  stars 
return  again,  and  that  this  begins  about  noon  on  the 
day  on  which  the  sun  enters  the  sign  of  the  Ram, 
and  that  the  year  of  this  period  had  been  215,  as 
reported  by  him,  in  the  consulship01  of  Publius 
Licinius  and  Gnaeus  Cornelius.  Cornelius  Valerianus 
reports  that  a  phoenix  flew  down  into  Egypt  in  the 
consulship  6  of  Quintus  Plautius  and  Sextus  Papinius ; 
it  was  even  brought  to  Rome  in  the  Censorship  of 
the  Emperor  Claudius,  A.U.C.  800  c  and  displayed  in 
the  Comitium,  a  fact  attested  by  the  Records, 
although  nobody  would  doubt  that  this  phoenix  was 
a  fabrication. 

III.  Of  the  birds  known  to  us  the  eagle  is  the  most 
honourable  and  also  the  strongest.    Of  eagles  there  ea^e' 
are  six  kinds.-2  The  one  called  by  the  Greeks  the  black 

295 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

Graecis  dicta,  eadem  leporaria,1  minima  magnitudine, 
viribus  praecipua,  colore  nigrlcans.  sola  aquilarum 
fetus  suos  alit,  ceterae,  ut  dicemus,  fugant ;  sola  sine 
clangore,  sine  murmuratione.  conversatur  autem  in 

7  montibus.      secundi  generis  pygargus  in  oppidis  et  in 
campis,    albicante    cauda.     tertii   morphnos,    quam 
Horn  ems  et  percnum  vocat,  aliqui  et  plangum  et 
anatariam,  secunda  magnitudine  et  vi;    huic  vita 
circa  lacus.     Phemonoe  Apollinis  dicta  filia  dentes 
esse    ei    prodidit    mutae    alias    carentique    lingua, 
eandem  aquilarum  nigerrimam,  prominentiore  cauda. 
consentit  et  Boethus.2     ingenium  est  ei3  testudines 
raptas  frangere  e  sublfmi  iaciendo,  quae  fors  interemit 
poetam  Aeschylum  praedictam  fatis,  ut  ferunt,  eius- 

8  modi 4  ruinam  secura  caeli  fide  caventem.    item  quarti 
generis   est  percnopterus,  eadem  oripelargus,  vul- 
turina    specie    alis    minimis,   reliqua    magnitudine 
antecellens,  sed  inbellis  et  degener,  ut  quam  verberet 
corvus.    eadem  ieiunae  semper  aviditatis  et  querulae 
murmurationis.  sola  aquilarum  exanimata  5  aufert 6 
corpora,  ceterae  cum  occidere  considunt.     haec  facit 
ut     quintum   genus   yvrjcnov   vocetur   velut    verum 
solumque  incorruptae  originis,  media  magnitudine, 
colore      subrutilo,      rarum     conspectu.       superest 

1  Mueller  (cf.  Xay<acf>6vos  Ar.} :  in  Valeria. 
lUdd*  (Boeus.  hid-as  Detlefeen) :  Boethtdus. 
v.l.  et. 

RackTiam  (eius  diei  edd.);  eidei  aut  diei, 
Dcdecamp :  exanima. 
JtackTiam :  fert. 

0  Aristotle  calls  it  the  hare-killing  eagle. 
6  Probably  the  marsh-harrier. 
c  Priestess  at  Delphi. 

d  I.e.  by  keeping  in  the  open  and  avoiding  trees  and  buildings 
from  which  objects  might  fall  on  him. 

296 


BOOK  X.  in.  6-8 

eagle,  and  also  the  hare-eagle,0  is  smallest  in  size  and 
of  outstanding  strength ;  it  is  of  a  blackish  colour. 
It  is  the  only  eagle  that  rears  its  own  young,  whereas 
all  the  others,  as  we  shall  describe,  drive  them  away ; 
and  it  is  the  only  one  that  has  no  scream  or  cry.  Its 
haunt  is  in  the  mountains.  To  the  second  kind  be- 
longs the  white-rump  eagle  found  in  towns  and  in 
level  country ;  it  has  a  whitish  tail.  To  the  third  the 
morphnosf  wjiich  Homer  also  calls  the  dusky  eagle, 
and  some  the  plangos  and  also  the  duck-eagle ;  it  is 
second  in  size  and  strength,  and  it  lives  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  lakes.  Phemonoe,c  who  was  styled 
Daughter  of  Apollo,  has  stated  that  it  possesses  teeth, 
but  that  it  is  mute  and  voiceless ;  also  that  it  is  the 
darkest  of  the  eagles  in  colour,  and  has  an  exception- 
ally prominent  tail.  Boethus  also  agrees.  It  has  a 
clever  device  for  breaking  tortoise-shells  that  it  has 
carried  off,  by  dropping  them  from  a  height;  this 
accident  caused  the  death  of  the  poet  Aeschylus, 
who  was  trying  to  avoid  a  disaster  of  this  nature  that 
had  been  foretold  by  the  fates,  as  the  story  goes, 
by  trustfully  relying  on  the  open  sky.d  Next,  the 
fourth  class  comprises  the  hawk-eagle,  also  called 
the  mountain  stork,  which  resembles  a  vulture  in 
having  very  small  wings  but  exceeds  it  in  the  size 
of  its  other  parts,  and  yet  is  unwarlike  and  degener- 
ate, as  it  allows  a  crow  to  flog  it.  It  is  always 
ravenously  greedy,  and  keeps  up  a  plaintive  scream- 
ing. It  is  the  only  eagle  that  carries  away  the  dead 
bodies  of  its  prey ;  all  the  others  after  killing  alight 
on  the  spot.  This  species  causes  the  fifth  kind  to  be 
called  the  '  true  eagle/  as  being  the  genuine  kind  and 
the  only  pure-bred  one ;  it  is  of  medium,  size  and  dull 
reddish  colour,  and  it  is  rarely  seen.  There  remains 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

haliaetus,  clarrissima  oculorum  acie,  librans  ex  alto 
sese  visoque  in  mari  pisce  praeceps  in  eum  ruens  et 
9  discussis  pectore  aquis  rapiens.  ilia  quam  tertiam 
fecimus  aquaticas  aves  circa  stagna  adpetit  mergentes 
se  subinde,  donee  sopitas  lassatasque  rapiat.  spec- 
tanda  dimicatio,  ave  ad  perfugia  litorum  tendente, 
maxime  si  condensa  harundo  sit,  aquila  inde  ictu 
abigente  alae  et,  cum  adpetat  in  lacu,  scandente  x 
umbramque  suam  nanti  sub  aqua  a  litore  ostendente, 
rursus  ave  in  diversa2  et  ubi  minime  se  credat  expec- 
tari  emergent  e.  haec  causa  gregatim  avibus  natandi , 
quia  plures  simul  non  infestantur  respersu  pinna- 
rum  hostem  occaecantes.  saepe  et  aquilae  ipsae  non 
tolerantes  pondus  adprehensum  una  merguntur. 

10  haliaetus   tantum  inplumes  etiamnum   pullos  suos 
percutiens  subinde  cogit  adversos  intueri  solis  radios 
et,  si  coniventem  humectantemque   animadvertit, 
praecipitat  e  nido  velut  adulterinum  atque  degene- 
rem;    ilium  cuius  acies  firma  contra  stetit  educat. 

11  haliaeti  suum  genus  non  habent,  sed  ex  diverso 
aquilarum  coitu  nascuntur;   id  quidem  quod  ex  his 
natum  est  in  ossifragis  genus  habet  e  quibus  vultures 
minores  progenerantur,  et  ex  his  magni  qui  omnino 
non    generant.     quidam    adiciunt    genus    aquilae 
quam  barbatam  vocant,  Tusci  vero  ossifragam. 

12  IV.  Tribus   primis   et   quinto   aquilarum   generi 

1  Mayhoff:  cadente.  2  v.l.  diverso. 

a  Perhaps  the  lammeigeier,  gypaetus  larbatus. 
298 


BOOK  X.  m.  8-iv.  12 

the  osprey,  which  has  very  keen  eye-sight,  and 
which  hovers  at  a  great  height  and  when  it  sees  a  fish 
in  the  sea  drops  on  it  with  a  swoop  and  cleaving  the 
water  with  its  breast  catches  it.  The  species  that 
we  made  the  third  hunts  round  marshes  for  water- 
birds,  which  at  once  dive,  till  they  become  drowsy 
and  exhausted,  when  it  catches  them.  The  duel  is 
worth  watching,  the  bird  making  for  refuge  on  the 
shore,  especially  if  there  is  a  dense  reed-bed,  and  the 
eagle  driving  it  away  from  the  shore  with  a  blow  of 
its  wing ;  and  when  it  is  hunting  its  quarry  in  a  lake, 
soaring  and  showing  its  shadow  to  the  bird  swimming 
under  water  away  from  the  shore,  so  that  the  bird 
turns  back  again  and  comes  to  the  surface  at  a  place 
where  it  thinks  it  is  least  expected.  This  is  the 
reason  why  birds  swim  in  flocks,  because  several  are 
not  attacked  at  the  same  tune,  since  they  blind  the 
enemy  by  splashing  him  with  their  wings.  Often 
even  the  eagles  themselves  cannot  carry  tl^e  weight  of 
their  catch  and  are  drowned  with  it.  The  sea-eagle 
only  compels  its  still  unfledged  chicks  by  beating 
them  to  gaze  full  at  the  rays  of  the  sun,  and  if  it 
notices  one  blinking  and  with  its  eyes  watering  flings 
it  out  of  the  nest  as  a  bastard  and  not  true  to  stock, 
whereas  one  whose  gaze  stands  firm  against  the  light 
it  rears.  Sea-eagles  have  no  breed  of  their  own  but 
are  born  from  cross-breeding  with  other  eagles ;  but 
the  offspring  of  a  pair  of  sea-eagles  belongs  to  the 
osprey  genus,  from  which  spring  the  smaller  vultures, 
and  from  these  the  great  vultures  which  do  not  breed 
at  all.  Some  people  add  a  species  of  eagle  which 
they  call  the  bearded  eagle,*  but  which  the  Tuscans 
call  an  ossifrage. 
IV.  The  three  first  and  the  fifth  kinds  of  eagle  have 

299 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

inaedificatur  nido  lapis  aetites  (quern  aliqui  dixere 
gagiten 1)  ad  multa  remedia  utilis,  nihil  igne  deper- 
dens.  est  autem  lapis  iste  praegnans  intus  alio, 
cum  quatias  velut  in  urceo2  sonante.  sed  vis  ilia 

13  medica  non  nisi  nido  dereptis.     nidificant  in  petris 
et  arboribus,  pariunt  et  ova  terna,  excludunt  pullos 
binos,  visi  sunt  et  tres  aliquando.     alterum  expellunt 
taedio  nutriendi:    quippe  eo  tempore  ipsis  cibum 
negavit  natura  prospiciens  ne  omnium  ferarum  fetus 
raperentur;     ungues    quoque    earum    invertuntur 
diebus  iis,  albescunt  inedia  pinnae,  ut  merito  partus 
suos  oderint,    sed  eiectos  ab  his  cognatum  genus 

14  ossifragi    excipiunt    et    educant   cum   suis.     verum 
adultos  quoque  persequitur  parens  et  longe  fugat, 
aemulos    scilicet   rapinae.     et    alioquin   unum   par 
aquilarum  magno  ad  populandum  tractu,  ut  satietur, 
indiget;    determinant  ergo  spatia,  nee  in  proximo 
praedantur.    rapta  non  protinus  ferunt,  sed  primo 
deponunt,  expertaeque  pondus  tune  demumavehunt.3 

15  oppetunt  non  senio  nee  aegritudine  sed  fame,  in 
tantum  superiore  adcrescente  rostro  ut  aduncitas 
aperiri   non   queat.     a   meridiano    autem   tempore 
operantur   et   volant,   prioribus   horis    diei,    donee 

1  V.ll.  gagyten,  ga^gaten.  a  Mueller  i  utero. 

3  Pintianus :  abeunt. 


tf  See  §  11  n. 
300 


BOOK  X.  iv.  12-15 

the  stone  called  eagle-stone  (named  by  some  gagites) 
built  into  their  nests,  which  is  useful  for  many  cures, 
and  loses  none  of  its  virtue  by  fire.  The  stone  in 
question  is  big  with  another  inside  it,  which  rattles 
as  if  in  a  jar  when  you  shake  it.  But  only  those 
taken  from  a  nest  possess  the  medicinal  power 
referred  to.  They  build  their  nests  in  rocks  and 
trees,  and  lay  as  many  as  three  eggs  at  a  time,  but 
they  shut  out  two  chicks  of  the  brood,  and  have  been 
seen  on  occasion  to  eject  even  three.  They  drive 
out  the  other  chick  when  they  are  tired  of  feeding  it : 
indeed  at  this  period  nature  has  denied  food  to  the 
parent  birds  themselves  as  a  precaution,  so  that  the 
young  of  all  the  wild  animals  should  not  be  plundered ; 
also  during  those  days  the  birds'  talons  turn  inward, 
and  their  feathers  grow  white  from  want  of  food,  so 
that  with  good  reason  they  hate  their  own  offspring. 
But  the  chicks  thrown  out  by  these  birds  are  received 
by  the  kindred  breed,  the  bearded  eagles/1  who 
rear  them  with  their  own.  However  the  parent  bird 
pursues  them  even  when  grown  up,  and  drives  them 
far  away,  doubtless  because  they  are  competitors  in 
the  chase.  And  apart  from  this  a  single  pair  of  eagles 
in  order  to  get  enough  food  requires  a  large  tract  of 
country  to  hunt  over;  consequently  they  mark  out 
districts,  and  do  not  poach  on  their  neighbours'  pre- 
serves. When  they  have  made  a  catch  they  do  not 
carry  it  off  at  once,  but  first  lay  it  on  the  ground,  and 
only  fly  away  with  it  after  first  testing  its  weight. 
They  meet  their  end  not  from  old  age  nor  sickness  but 
from  hunger,  as  their  upper  mandible  grows  to  such  a 
size  that  it  is  too  hooked  for  them  to  be  able  to  open  it. 
They  get  busy  and  fly  in  the  afternoon,  but  in  the 
earlier  hours  of  the  day  they  perch  quite  idle  till  the 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

impleantur  hominum  conventu  fora,  ignavae  sedent. 
aquilarum  pinnae  mixtas  reliquarum  alitum  pinnas 
devorant.  negant  umquam  solam  hanc  alitem 
fulmine  exanimatam ;  ideo  armigeram  lovis  consue- 
tude iudicavit. 

16  V.  Romanis    cam    legionibus    Gaius    Marius    in 
secundo  consulatu  suo  proprie  dicavit.     erat  et  antea 
prima   cum   quattuor   aliis:    lupi,  minotauri,    equi 
aprique  singulos  ordines  anteibant ;  paucis  ante  annis 
sola  in  aciem  portari  coepta  erat,  reliqua  in  castris 
relinquebantur;    Marius  in  totum  ea  abdicavit.     ex 
eo  notatum  non  fere  legionis  umquam  hiberna  esse 
castra  ubi  aquilarum  non  sit  iugum. 

17  Primo  et  secundo  generi  non  minorum  tantum 
quadripedum  rapina  sed  etiam  cum  cervis  proelia. 
multum  pulverem  volutatu  collectum  insidens  corni- 
bus  excutit  in  oculos,  pinnis  ora  verberans,  donee 
praecipitet  in  rupes,    nee  unus  hostis  illi  satis  :  est 
acrior1  cum  dracone  pugna  multoque  magis  anceps, 
etiamsi  in  aere.  ova  hie  consectatur  aquilae  aviditate 
malefica ;   aquila  2  hoc  rapit  ubicumque  visum.    ille 
multiplici  nexu  alas  ligat  ita  se  inplicans  ut  simul 
decidat  ipse.a 

18  VL  Celebris   apud  Seston  urbem   aquilae  gloria 
est:  educatam  a  virgine  retulisse  gratiam  aves  primo, 

1  v.l.  satis  est ;  acrior  est. 

2  Mayhoff :  ab  ilia  aut  at  ilia. 
3  ipse  Mayhoff:  saepe  (aut  est  percelebris). 


0  Pliny  is  translating  Trepl  dyopav  v 
b  104  B.o. 


302 


BOOK  X.  iv.  15-vi.  18 

market-places  fill  with  a  gathering  of  people.05  If 
eagles'  feathers  have  the  feathers  of  any  other  birds 
mixed  with  them,  they  swallow  them  up.  It  is 
stated  that  this  is  the  only  bird  that  is  never  killed  by 
a  thunderbolt ;  this  is  why  custom  has  deemed  the 
eagle  to  be  Jupiter's  armour-bearer. 

V.  The  eagle  was  assigned  to  the  Roman  legions 

as  their  special  badge  by  Gaius  Marius  in  his  second  fHHge. 
consulship.6  Even  previously  it  had  been  their  first 
badge,  with  four  others,  wolves,  minotaurs,  horses 
and  boars  going  in  front  of  the  respective  ranks; 
but  a  few  years  before  the  custom  had  come  in  of 
carrying  the  eagles  alone  into  action,  the  rest  being 
left  behind  in  camp.  Marius  discarded  them  alto- 
gether. Thenceforward  it  was  noticed  that  there 
was  scarcely  ever  a  legion's  winter  camp  without  a 
pair  of  eagles  being  in  the  neighbourhood. 

The  first  and  second  kinds  not  only  carry  off  the 
smaller  four-footed  animals  but  actually  do  battle  mates. 
with  stags.  The  eagle  collects  a  quantity  of  dust 
by  rolling  in  it,  and  perching  on  the  stag's  horns 
shakes  it  off  into  its  eyes,  striking  its  head  with  its 
wings,  until  it  brings  it  down  on  to  the  rocks.  Nor  is 
it  content  with  one  foe :  it  has  a  fiercer  battle  with  a 
great  serpent,  and  one  that  is  of  much  more  doubtful 
issue,  even  though  it  is  in  the  air.  The  serpent  with 
mischievous  greed  tries  to  get  the  eagle's  eggs ;  con- 
sequently the  eagle  carries  it  off  wherever  seen.  The 
serpent  fetters  its  wings  by  twining  itself  round  them 
in  manifold  coils  so  closely  that  it  falls  to  the  ground 
itself  with  the  snake. 

VI.  At  the  city  of  Sestos  the  fame  of  an  eagle  is 
celebrated,  the  story  being  that  it  was  reared  by  a 
maiden  and  that  it  repaid  its  gratitude  by  bringing 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

mox  delude  venatus  adgerentem,  defuncta  postremo 
in  rogum  accensum  eius  iniecisse  sese  et  simul 
conflagrasse.  quam  ob  causam  incolae  quod  vocant 
heroum  in  eo  loco  fecere  appellatum  lovis  et  virgmis, 
quoniam  illi  deo  ales  adscribitur. 

19  VII.  Vulturum    praevalent    nigri.    nidos     nemo 
attigit;   ideo  et  fuere  qui  putarent  illos  ex  ad  verso 
orbe    advolare,   falso:     nidificant    in    excelsissimis 
rupibus.     fetus  quidem  saepe  cernuntur,  fere  bini. 
Umbricius  haruspicum  in  nostro  aevo  peritissimus 
parere  tradit  ova  tredecim,  uno  ex  his  reliqua  ova 
nidumque  lustrare,  mox  abicere ;  triduo  autem  ante 
advolare  cos  ubi  cadavera  futura  sunt. 

20  VIII.  Sanqualem  avem  atque  inmusulum  augur es 
Romani  magna  in  quaestione  habent.    inmusulum 
aliqui  vulturis  pullum  arbitrantur  esse  et  sanqualem 
ossifragae.     Masurius    sanqualem    ossifragam    esse 
dicit,  inmusulum  autem  pullum  aquilae  priusquam 
albicet  cauda.    quidam  post  Mucium  augurem  visos 
non  esse  Romae  confirmavere,  ego,  quod  veri  similius, 
in  desidia  rerum  omnium  arbitror  non  agnitos. 

21  IX.  Accipitrum  genera  sedecim  invenimus :  ex  his 
aegithurn  claudum  altero  pede  prosperrimi  augurii 
nuptialibus  negotiis  et  pecuariae  rei:    triorchem  a 
numero  testium,  cui  principatum  in  auguriis  Phemo- 

fl  Died  about  87  B.C. 


BOOK  X.  vi.  i8-ix.  21 

to  her  first  birds  and  soon  afterwards  big  game,  and 
when  finally  she  died  it  threw  itself  upon  her  lighted 
pyre  and  was  burnt  with  her.  On  account  of  this 
the  inhabitants  made  what  is  called  a  heroon  in  that 
place,  which  is  named  the  Shrine  of  Jupiter  and  the 
Maiden,  because  the  bird  is  assigned  to  that  deity. 

VII.  Of  vultures  the  black  are  the  strongest.     No  The  vulture. 
one  has  ever  reached  their  nests,  and  consequently 

there  have  actually  been  persons  who  have  thought 
that  they  fly  here  from  the  opposite  side  of  the  globe. 
This  is  a  mistake :  they  make  their  nests  on  extremely 
lofty  crags.  Their  chicks  indeed  are  often  seen, 
usually  in  pairs.  The  most  learned  augur  of  our  age, 
Umbricius,  states  that  they  lay  thirteen  eggs,  but 
use  one  of  them  for  cleaning  the  remaining  eggs  and 
the  nest  and  then  throw  it  away;  but  that  three 
days  before  they  lay  the  eggs  they  fly  to  some  place 
where  there  will  be  dead  bodies. 

VIII.  There  is  great  question  among  the  Roman  ^esan- 

,       .     ,i6  H     -,.  -,     ,,  s    .  1        gualts and 

augurs   about   the  sanqualis   and  the  immusulus.  the  im~ 
Some  think  that  the  immusulus  is  the  chick  of  the  musulus- 
vulture  and  the  sanqualis  of  the  bearded  vulture. 
Masurius  says  that  the  sanqualis  is  a  bearded  vulture 
and  the  immusulus  an  eagle's  chick  before  its  tail 
turns  white.    Some  persons  have  asserted  that  they 
have  not  been  seen  at  Rome  since  the  time  of  the 
augur  Mucius,0  but  for  my  own  part  I  think  it  more 
probable  that  in  the  general  slackness  that  prevails 
they  have  not  been  recognized. 

IX.  Of  hawks  we  find  sixteen  kinds,  and  among  ^j?'1^ 
these  the  aegithus,  which  when  lame  in  one  foot  is  of  aegithm ; 
very  fortunate  omen  for  marriage  contracts  and  for 
property  in  cattle,  and  the  triorchis,  named  from  the 
number  of  its  testicles,  the  bird  to  which  Phemonoe 

3°5 

VOL.  III.  X      # 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

noe  dedit.  buteonem  hunc  appellant  Roman! , 
familia  etiam  ex  eo  cognominata,  cum  prospero 
auspicio  in  duels  navi  sedisset.  epileum  Graeci 
vocant  qui  solus  omni  tempore  apparet,  ceteri  hieme 

22  abeunt.     distinctio  generum  ex  aviditate:    alii  non 
nisi  e  terra  rapiunt  avem,  alii  non  nisi  circa  arbores 
volitantem,  alii  sedentem  in  sublimi,  aliqui  volantem 
in  aperto.    itaque  et  columbae  novere  ex  his  pericula, 
visoque  considunt,  vel  subvolant,  contra  naturam  eius 
auxiliantes  sibi.    in  insula  Africae  Cerne  in  ocean o 
accipitres  totius  Massaesyliae  humi  fetincant,  nee 
alibi  nascuntur,  illis  adsueti  gentibus. 

23  X.  In  Thraciae  parte  super  Amphipolim  homines 
et  accipitres  societate  quadam  aucupantur:    hi  ex 
silvis  et  harundinetis  excitant  aves,  illi  supervolantes 
deprimunt  rursus ;  captas  aucupes  dividunt  cum  his. 
traditum  est  missas  in  sublime  ibi1  excipere  eos,  et 
cum  sit  tempus  capturae,  clangore  ac  volatus  genere 
invitare   ad   occasionem.     simile   quiddam   lupi   ad 
Maeotim  paludem   faciunt;    nam   nisi   partem    a 
piscantibus   suam   accepere,   expansa   corum   retia 
lacerant. 

24  Accipitres    avium    non  edunt   corda.     nocturnus 
accipiter  cybindis  vocatur,  rarus  etiam  in  silvis,  inter- 
diu  minus  cernens.    bellum  internecivum  gerit  cum 
aquila,  cohaerentesque  saepe  prenduntur. 

1  v.l.  sibi. 

a  I.e.  bnzzard. 

b  Some  way  down  the  N.W.  African  coast  outside  the  Straits 
of  Gibraltar. 

306 


BOOK  X.  ix.  2i-x,  24 

gave  primacy  among  auguries.  The  Roman  name 
for  it  is  buteof  which  is  also  the  surname  of  a  family, 
assumed  because  one  perched  on  an  admiral's  ship 
with  good  omen.  The  Greeks  give  the  name  of 
merlin  to  the  only  species  that  appears  at  every  the  merlin. 
season,  whereas  all  the  others  go  away  in  winter. 
The  varieties  of  hawks  are  distinguished  by  their 
appetite  for  food :  some  only  snatch  a  bird  off  the 
ground,  others  only  one  fluttering  round  a  tree, 
others  one  that  perches  high  in  the  branches,  others 
one  flying  in  the  open.  Consequently  even  the  doves 
know  the  risks  that  they  run  from  hawks,  and  when 
they  see  one  they  alight,  or  else  fly  upward,  safe- 
guarding themselves  by  going  counter  to  the  hawk's 
nature.  The  hawks  of  the  whole  of  Massaesylia 
lay  their  eggs  on  the  ground  in  Cerne,6  an  island  of 
Africa  in  the  Ocean,  and  they  do  not  breed  elsewhere, 
as  they  are  accustomed  to  the  natives  of  that  island. 

X,  In  the  district  of  Thrace  inland  from  Amphipolis  Rawing. 
men  and  hawks  have  a  sort  of  partnership  for  fowling : 
the  men  put  up  the  birds  from  woods  and  reed-beds 
and  the  hawks  flying  overhead  drive  them  down 
again;  the  fowlers  share  the  bag  with  the  hawks. 
It  is  reported  that  when  the  birds  have  been  put  up 
the  hawks  intercept  them  in  the  air,  and  when  it  is 
time  for  a  catch  invite  the  sportsmen  to  take  the 
opportunity  by  their  screaming  and  their  way  of 
flying.  Wolf-fish  at  the  Maeotic  Marsh  act  somewhat 
in  the  same  way,  for  unless  they  get  their  share  from 
fishermen  they  tear  their  nets  when  spread. 

Hawks  do  not  eat  the  hearts  of  birds.    The  night-  The  night- 
hawk  is  called  cybindis ;  it  is  rare  even  in  forests,  and  hawt' 
cannot  see  very  well  in  the  daytime.     It  wages  war 
to  the  death  with  the  eagle,  and  they  are  often  taken 
clinging  together  in  each  other's  clutches. 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

25  XL  Coccyx  videtur  ex  accipitre  fieri  tempore  anni 
figuram  mutans,  quoniam  tune  non  apparent  reliqui 
nisi  perquam  paucis  diebus,   ipse   quoque   modico 
tempore  aestatis    visus   non  cernitur  postea.      est 
autem  neque  aduncis   unguibus,   solus   accipitrum, 
nee  capite  similis  illis  neque  alio  quam  colore,  habitu  1 
columbi  potius.     quin  et  absumitur  ab  accipitre,  si 
quando  una  apparuere,  sola  omnium  avis  a  suo  genere 

26  interempta.    mutat  autem  et  vocem,  procedit  vere, 
occultatur  caniculae  ortu,  inter  quae  2  parit  in  alienis 
nidis,  maxime  palumbium,  maiore  ex  parte  singula 
ova,  quod  nulla  alia  avis,  raro  bina.     causa  pullos 
subiciendi  putatur   quod  sciat   se   invisam   cunctis 
avibus,  nam  minutae  quoque  infestant ;  ita  non  fore 
tutam  generi  suo  stirpem  opinatur  ni  fefellerit,  quare 
nullum    facit    nidum,    alioqui3    trepidum    animal. 

27  educat   ergo   subditum   adulterate   feta  nido.    ille 
avidus  ex  natura  praeripit  cibos  reliquis  pullis,  itaque 
et  nitidus  in  se  nutricem  convertit.    ilia  gaudet  eius 
specie  nairaturque  sese  ipsam  quod  talem  pepererit ; 
suos  comparatione  eius  damnat  ut  alienos.     absu- 
mique  etiam  se  inspectante  patitur,  donee  corripiat 

1  Deilefsen  :  ao  visu  aut  ac  victu. 

2  Mayhoff :  inter que  (semper  c|ue  edd.). 
8  <et>  alioqui  ?  Maytoff* 

a  This  belief  is  held  at  the  present  time  in  some  parts  of 
Britain.     Of  course  the  cuckoo  is  not  of  the  hawk  species. 
b  It  is  really  a  migrant. 
*  As  a  matter  of  fact  this  is  never  the  case. 
4  All  of  what  follows  is  untrue. 

308 


BOOK  X.  xi.  25-27 

XL  The  cuckoo  seems  to  be  made  by  changing  its  The  cucko 
shape  out  of  a  hawk  a  at  a  certain  season  of  the  year, 


as  the  rest  of  the  hawks  do  not  appear  then,  except  Its  ?«*«w 
on  a  very  few  days,  and  the  cuckoo  itself  also  after  hablt*' 
being  seen  for  a  moderate  period  of  the  summer  is 
not  observed  afterwards.  But  the  cuckoo  is  alone 
among  the  hawks  in  not  having  crooked  talons,  and 
also  it  is  not  like  the  other  hawks  in  the  head  or  in 
anything  else  but  colour  :  it  rather  has  the  general 
appearance  of  the  pigeon.  Moreover  a  hawk  will 
eat  a  cuckoo,  if  ever  both  have  appeared  at  the  same 
time  :  the  cuckoo  is  the  only  one  of  all  the  birds  that 
is  killed  by  its  own  kind.  And  it  also  changes  its 
voice.  It  comes  out  in  the  spring  and  goes  into 
hiding  *  at  the  rising  of  the  dog-star,  between  which 
dates  it  lays  its  eggs  in  the  nests  of  other  birds, 
usually  c  wood-pigeons,  for  the  most  part  one  egg  at  a 
time,  as  does  no  other  bird  ;  it  seldom  lays  two.  Its 
reason  for  foisting  its  chicks  on  other  birds  is  supposed 
to  be  that  it  knows  itself  to  be  hated  by  the  whole  of 
the  birds,  for  even  the  very  small  birds  attack  it; 
consequently  it  thinks  that  a  progeny  will  not  be 
secured  for  its  race  unless  it  has  escaped  notice,  for 
which  reason  it  makes  no  nest  ;  it  is  a  timid  creature 
in  general.  Therefore  the  brooding  hen  in  the  nest 
thus  cuckolded  rears  the  changeling.  The  young 
cuckoo  d  being  by  nature  greedy  snatches  the  bits  of 
food  away  from  the  rest  of  the  chicks,  and  so  gets  fat 
and  attracts  the  mother  bird  to  itself  by  its  sleek 
appearance.  She  delights  in  its  beauty  and  admires 
herself  for  having  borne  such  a  child,  while  in 
comparison  with  it  she  convicts  her  own  chicks  of 
not  belonging  to  her,  and  lets  them  be  eaten  up 
even  under  her  own  eyes,  until  finally  the  cuckoo, 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

ipsam  quoque  iam  volandi  potens.     nulla  tune  avium 
suavitate  camis  comparatur  illi. 

28  XIL  Milvi  ex  eodem  accipitrum  genere  magnitu- 
dine    differunt.    notatum   in   his    rapacissimam    et 
famelicam    semper    alitem    nihil    esculenti    rap  ere 
umquam  ex  funerum  ferculis  nee  Olympiae  ex  ara, 
ac  ne  ferentium  quidem  manibus  nisi  lugubri  manci- 
piorum 1  tmmolantium  ostento.     idem  videntur  artem 
gubernandi    docuisse    caudae    flexibus,    in    caelo 
monstrante  natura  quod  opus   esset   in  profundo. 
milvi  et  ipsi  hibernis  mensibus  latent,  non  tamen  ante 
hirundinem  abeuntes ;  traduntur  autem  et  a  solstitiis 
adfici  podagra. 

29  XIII.  Volucrum  prima  distinctio  pedibus  maxime 
constat ;  aut  enim  aduncos  ungues  habent  aut  digit  os, 
aut  palmipedum  in  genere  sunt  ut  anseres  et  aqua- 
ticae  fere   aves.    aduncos   ungues  habentia   carne 

30  tantum  vescuntur  ex  parte  magna ;  (XIV)  cornices  et 
alio  pabulo,  ut  quae  duritiam  nueis  rostro  repugnan- 
tem  volantes  in  altum  in  saxa  tegulasve  iaeiant 
iterum    ac    saepius,    donee    quassatam   perfringere 
queant.   ipsa   ales   est   inauspicatae   garrulitatis,   a 
quibusdam  tamen  laudata.      ab  arcturi  sidere   ad 
hirundinum  adventum  notatur  earn  in  Minervae  lucis 
templisque  raro,  alicubi  omnino  non  aspici,  sicut 
Athenis :   inauspicatissima  fetus   tempore,  hoc   est 
post  solstitium.2    praeterea  sola  haec  etiam  volantes 

1  Detlefsen :  mtmicipiorum. 

2  inauspicatissima  .  .  .  solstitium  hie  Mueller  :  post  pascit 
codd. 


a  Crows  as  a  matter  of  fact  have  no  talons. 
310 


BOOK  X.  XT.  27-xiv.  30 

now  able  to  fly,  seizes  the  mother  bird  herself  as 
well.  At  this  stage  no  sort  of  bird  will  compare  with 
a  young  cuckoo  for  savoury  flavour. 

XII.  Kites  belong  to  the  same  genus  as  hawks  The  ute, 
but  differ  in  size.    It  has  been  noticed  in  regard  to 

this  species  that  though  a  most  rapacious  bird  and 
always  hungry  it  never  steals  any  edible  from  the 
oblations  at  funerals  nor  from  the  altar  at  Olympia 
and  not  even  out  of  the  hands  of  the  people  bringing 
the  offsprings  except  with  a  gloomy  portent  for 
the  slaves  performing  the  sacrifice.  Also  it  seems 
that  this  bird  by  its  manipulation  of  its  tail  taught 
the  art  of  steersmanship,  nature  demonstrating  in 
the  sky  what  was  required  in  the  deep.  Kites  them- 
selves also  are  not  seen  in  the  winter  months,  though 
not  departing  before  the  swallow;  it  is  reported 
however  that  they  suffer  from  gout  even  from 
midsummer  onward. 

XIII.  The  primary  distinction  between  birds  is  Taioned 
established  especially  by  the  feet;  for  either  they  c^/  l 
have  hooked  talons  or  claws  or  they  are  in  the  web- 
footed  class  like  geese  and  water-fowl  generally. 

If  they  have  hooked  talons  they  live  for  the  most  part 
only  on  flesh ;  (XIV)  though  crows  a  eat  other  food  as 
well,  as  if  a  nut  is  so  hard  that  it  resists  their  beak  they 
fly  up  aloft  and  drop  it  two  or  more  times  onto  rocks  or 
roof-tiles,  till  it  is  cracked  and  they  can  break  it  open. 
The  bird  itself  has  a  persistent  croak  that  is  unlucky, 
although  some  people  speak  well  of  it.  It  is  noticed 
that  from  the  rising  of  Arcturus  to  the  arrival  of  the 
swallows  it  is  rarely  seen  in  groves  and  temples  of 
Minerva  and  never  at  all  elsewhere,  as  is  the  case  at 
Athens ;  it  is  most  unlucky  at  its  breeding  season, 
that  is,  after  midsummer.  Moreover  this  bird  alone 

311 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

31  pullos  aliquamdiu  pascit;    (XV)  ceterae  omnes  ex 
eodem  gen  ere  pellunt  nidis  pullos  ac  volare  cogunt, 
sicut  et  corvi ;   qui  et  ipsi  non  carne  tantum  aluntur 
sed    robustos    quoque    fetus   suos   fugant   longius. 
itaque  parvis  in  vicis  non  plus  bina  coniugia  sunt, 
circa    Crannonem     quidem    Thes-    saliae     singula 
perpetuo ;  genitores  suboli  loco  cedunt. 

32  Diversa    in   hac    et    supradicta    alite    quaedam, 
corvi    ante    solstitium    generant,   idem   aegrescunt 
sexagenis   diebus,  siti  maxime,  antequam  fici  co- 
quantur  autumno;   cornix  ab  eo  tempore  corripitur 
morbo. 

Corvi  pariunt  cum  plurimum  quinos.  ore  eos 
parere  aut  coire  vulgus  arbitratur  (ideoque  gravidas, 
si  ederint  corvinum  ovum,  per  os  partum  reddere, 
atque  in  totum  difficult er  parere  si  tecto  infer antur)  ; 
Aristoteles  negat,  non  Hercule  magis  quam  in 
Aegypto  ibinij  sed  illam  exosculationem  (quae  saepe 

33  cernitur)  qualem  in  columbis  esse.     corvi  in  auspiciis 
soli    videntur    intellectum    habere    significationum 
suarum;     nam   cum1    Medi   hospites    occisi    sunt, 
omnes  e  Peloponneso  et  Attica  regione  volaverunt. 
pessima  eorum  significatio  cum  gluttiunt  vocem  velut 
strangulati. 

1  cum  <ad  Pharsalam)  ?  Mayhoff  ex  Ar.  Post.  An.  IX 
619b  14. 

«  This  is  from  Aristotle  Hist.  An.  IZ  618&  14.  Medus  or 
Medeios,  son  of  Medea,  was  supposed  to  have  given. the 
Medes  their  name. 

312 


BOOK  X.  xiv.  3o-xv.  33 

continues  feeding  its  chicks  for  some  time  even  when 
they  can  fly ;  (XV)  whereas  all  the  other  birds  of  the 
same  class  drive  their  chicks  out  of  the  nests  and 
compel  them  to  fly,  as  also  do  ravens.  These  not 
only  feed  on  flesh  themselves  too,  but  also  drive  away 
their  chicks  when  strong  to  a  considerable  distance. 
Consequently  in  small  villages  there  are  not  more 
than  two  pairs  of  ravens,  and  in  fact  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Crannon  in  Thessaly  there  is  one  pair 
permanently  in  each  place;  the  parents  retire  to 
make  room  for  their  offspring. 

There  are  certain  points  of  difference  between  this  the  raven; 
bird  and  the  one  mentioned  above.  Ravens  breed 
before  midsummer,  also  they  have  60  days  of  ill- 
health,  principally  owing  to  thirst,  before  the  figs 
ripen  in  the  autumn;  whereas  the  crow  is  seized 
with  sickness  from  that  day  onward. 

Ravens  produce  broods  of  five  at  most.  There  is  a 
popular  belief  that  they  lay  eggs,  or  else  mate,  with 
the  beak  (and  that  consequently  if  women  with  child 
eat  a  raven's  egg  they  bear  the  infant  through  the 
mouth,  and  that  altogether  they  have  a  difficult 
delivery  if  raven's  eggs  are  brought  into  the  house) ; 
but  Aristotle  says  that  this  is  not  true  of  the  raven,  any 
more  indeed  than  it  is  of  the  ibis  in  Egypt,  but  that 
the  billing  in  question  (which  is  often  noticed)  is  a 
form  of  kissing,  like  that  which  takes  place  between 
pigeons.  Ravens  seem  to  be  the  only  birds  that 
have  an  understanding  of  the  meanings  that  they 
convey  in  auspices ;  for  when  the  guests  of  Medus 
were  murdered,  all  the  ravens  in  the  Peloponnese 
and  Attica  flew  away.a  It  is  a  specially  bad  amen 
when  they  gulp  down  their  croak  as  if  they  were 
choking. 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

34  XVI.  Uncos  ungues  et  nocturnae  aves  habent,  ut 
noctuae,    bubo,   ululae.     omnium   horum    hebetes 
interdiu  oculi.    bubo  funebris  et  maxime  abominatus 
publicis    praecipue    auspiciis    deserta    incolit    nee 
tantum  desolata  sed  dira  etiam  et  inaccessa,  noctis 
monstrum,  nee  cantu  aliquo   vocalis   sed   gemitu, 

35  itaque  in  urbibus  aut  omnino  in  luce  visus  dirum 
ostentum    est;     privatorum    domibus    insidentem 
plurium  scio  non  fuisse  feralem.    volat  numquam 
quo  libuit,  sed  traversus  aufertur.     Capitolii  cellam 
ipsam  intravit  Sexto  Palpellio  Histro  L.  Pedanio 
coss.j  propter  quod  nonis  Martiis  urbs  lustrata  est 
eo  anno. 

36  XVIL  Inauspicata  est  et  incendiaria  avis,  quam 
propter  saepenumero  lustratam  urbem  in  annalibus 
invenimus,  sicut  L.  Cassjo  C.  Mario  coss.,  quo  anno 
et  bubone  viso  lustratam  esse.    quae   sit   avis    ea 
non  reperitur  nee  traditur.     quidam  ita  interpre- 
tantur,  incendiariam  esse  quaecumque  apparuerit 
carbonem  ferens  ex  aris  vel  altaribus :  alii  spmturni- 
cem  earn  vocant,  sed  haec  ipsa  quae  esset  inter  aves 

37  qui  se  scire  diceret  non  inveni.  cliviam  quoque  avem 
ab  antiquis  nominatamanimadvertoignorari — quidam 
ckmatoriam  dieunt,  Labeo  prohibitoriam ;  et  apud 

a  A.I>.  43.  »    107  B.O. 


BOOK  X.  xvi.  34-xvn.  37 

XVL  Night  birds  also  have  hooked  talons,  for  owls. 
instance  the  little  owl,  the  eagle-owl  and  the 
screech-owl.  All  of  these  are  dim-sighted  in  the 
daytime.  The  eagle-owl  is  a  funereal  bird,  and  is 
regarded  as  an  extremely  bad  omen,  especially  at 
public  auspices ;  it  inhabits  deserts  and  places  that 
are  not  merely  unfrequented  but  terrifying  and 
inaccessible ;  a  wierd  creature  of  the  night,  its  cry 
is  not  a  musical  note  but  a  scream.  Consequenlty 
when  seen  in  cities  or  by  daylight  in  any  circum- 
stances it  is  a  direful  portent;  but  I  know  several 
cases  of  its  having  perched  on  the  houses  of  private 
persons  without  fatal  consequences.  It  never  flies 
in  the  direction  where  it  wants  to  go,  but  travels 
slantwise  out  of  its  course.  In  the  consulship  a  of 
Sextus  Palpellius  Hister  and  Lucius  Pedanius  an 
eagle-owl  entered  the  very  shrine  of  the  Capitol,  on 
account  of  which  a  purification  of  the  city  was  held 
on  March  7th  in  that  year. 

XVII.  There  is  also  a  bird  of  ill-omen  called  the  Unknown 
fire-bird,  on  account  of  which  we  find  in  the  annals  \u^men. 
that  the  city  has  often  had  a  ritual  purification,  for 
instance  in  the  consulship  6  of  Lucius  Cassius  and 
Gaius  Marius,  in  which  year  the  appearance  of  an 
eagle-owl  also  occasioned  a  purification.  What  this 
bird  was  I  cannot  discover,  and  it  is  not  recorded. 
Some  persons  give  this  interpretation,  that  the 
fire-bird  was  any  bird  that  was  seen  carrying  a  coal 
from  an  altar  or  altar-table;  others  call  it  a 
*  spinturnix,'  c  but  I  have  not  found  anybody  who 
professes  to  know  what  particular  species  of  bird 
that  is.  I  also  notice  that  the  bird  named  by  the 
ancients  *  clivia  *  is  unidentified — some  call  it 
screech-owl/  Labeo  '  warning  owl  * ;  and  moreover 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

Nigidium  insuper1  appellatur  avis  quae  aquilarum 
ova  frangat.  sunt  praeterea  conplura  genera  depicta 
in  Etrusca  disciplina  saeculis  non  visa,  quae  mine 
defecisse  minim  est  cum  abundent  etiam  quae  gula 
humana  populatur. 

38  XVIII.  Externorum  de  auguriis  peritissime  scrip- 
sisse    Hylas    nomine   putatur.    is   tradit   noctuam, 
bubonem,    picum    arbores     cavantem,    trygonam, 
cornicem  a  cauda   ovo 2   exire,    quoniam   pondere 
capitum  perversa  ova  posteriorem  partem  corporum 
fovendam  matri  adplicent. 

39  XIX.  Noctuarum  contra   aves   sellers   dimicatio. 
maiore  circumdatae  multitudine  resupinae  pedibus 
repugnant  collectaeque  in  artum  rostro  et  unguibus 
totae  teguntur.    auxiliatur  accipiter  collegio  quo- 
dam  naturae  bellumque  partitur.    noctuas  sexagenis 
diebus  hiemis  cubare  et  novem  voces  habere  tradit 
Nigidius. 

40  XX.  Sunt  et  parvae  aves  uncorum  unguium,  ut 
pici  Martio  cognomine  insignes   et  in  auspicatu3 
magni.     quo  in  genere  arborum  cavatores  scandentes 
in  subrectum  felium  modo,  illi  vero  et  supini,  percussi 
corticis  sono  pabulum  subesse  intellegunt.    pullos  in 
cavis  educant  avium  soli,     adactos  cavernis  eorum 
a  pastore  cuneos  admota  quadam  ab  iis  herba  elabi 

1  insuper  ?  Mayhoff :  super. 

2  ovo  ?  Mayhoff :  de  ovo. 

3  Hardouin :  auspicatis  aut  auspiciis. 

a  An  unknown  "bird. 
*  The  red-headed  Black  Woodpecker. 
6  Repeated  XXV  14  and  there  rejected. 
316 


BOOK  X.  xvn.  37-xx.  40 

a  bird  is  cited  in  Nigidius  that  breaks  eagles'  eggs. 
There  are  besides  a  number  of  kinds  described  in 
Tuscan  lore  that  have  not  been  seen  for  generations, 
though  it  is  surprising  that  they  should  have  now 
become  extinct  when  even  kinds  that  are  ravaged 
by  man's  greed  continue  plentiful. 

XVIII.  On  the  subject  of  the  auguries  of  foreign  Foreign 
races  the  writings  of  an  author  named  Hylas  are 
deemed  to  be  the  most  learned.    He  states  that  the 
night-owl,    eagle-owl,    woodpecker,   trygonaa  and 
raven  come  out  of  the  egg  tail  first,  because  the  eggs 

are  turned  the  wrong  way  up  by  the  weight  of  the 
heads  and  present  the  hinder  part  of  the  chicks' 
bodies  to  the  mother  to  cherish. 

XIX.  Night-owls   wage   a  crafty  battle  against  W*  night- 
other  birds.    When  surrounded  by  a  crowd  that  out- 
numbers them  they  lie  on  their  backs  and  defend 
themselves  with  their  feet,  and  bunching  themselves 

up  close  are  entirely  protected  by  their  beak  and 
claws.  Through  a  kind  of  natural  alliance  the  hawk 
comes  to  their  aid  and  takes  part  in  the  war.  Nigidius 
relates  that  night-owls  hibernate  for  60  days  every 
winter,  and  that  they  have  nine  cries. 

XX.  There  are  also  small  birds  with  hooked  claws.  The  wood- 
for  instance  the  variety  of  woodpeckers  called  Birds  pecker* 
of  Mars  &  that  are  important  in  taking  auguries.    In 

this  class  are  the  tree-hollowing  woodpeckers  that 
climb  nearly  straight  upright  in  the  manner  of  cats, 
but  also  the  others  that  cling  upside  down,  which  know 
by  the  sound  of  the  bark  when  they  strike  it  that 
there  is  fodder  underneath  it.  They  are  the  only 
birds  that  rear  their  chicks  in  holes.  There  is  a 
common  belief0  that  when  wedges  are  driven  into 
their  holes  by  a  shepherd  the  birds  by  applying  a 

3*7 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

creditor  vulgo.  Trebius  auctor  est  clavum  cuneumve 
adactum  quanta  libeat  vi  arbori  in  qua  nidum 
habeat  statim  exilire  cum  crepitu  arboris  cum 

41  insederit.1     ipsi     principales    Latio    sunt    in8  au- 
guriis  a  rege   qui  nomen  huic  avi   dedit.     unum 
eontm   praescitum   transire   non   queo,     in   capite 
praetoris  urbani  Aelii  Tuber onis  in  foro  iura  pro 
tribunal!  reddentis  sedit  ita  placide  ut  manu  pre- 
henderetur.    respondere  vates  exitium  imperio  por- 
tendi  si  dirnitteretur,  at  si  exanimaretur  praetori. 
ille  autem  2  protinus  concerpsit,  nee  multo  post  im- 
plevit  prodigium. 

42  XXI.  Vescuntur  et  glande  in  hoc  genere  pomisque 
multae,  sed  quae  carne  tantum,  non  bibunt,3  excepto 
milvOy  quod  ipsum   in  auguriis  dirum  est.     uncos 
ungues  habentes  omnino  non  congregantur,  et  sibi 
quaeque  praedantur.    sunt  autem  omnes  fere  alti- 
volae  praeter  nocturnas,  et  magis  maiores.     omnibus 
alae  grandes,  corpus  exiguum.     ambulant  difficulter. 
in  petris  raro  consistunt  curvatura  unguium  pro- 
hibente. 

43  XXIL  Nunc  de  secundo  genere  dicamus,  quod  in 
duas   dividitur   species,   oscines   et   alites.    illarum 
generi  cantus  oris3  his  magnitudo  difFerentiam  dedit ; 
itaque  praecedent  et  ordine,  omnesque  reliquas  in  iis 

1  Pintianus  :  insederit  clavo  aut  cuneo. 
2  v.L  et  ille  avem.  8  Mayhoff :  vivunt. 

a  Pious,  father  of  Latinus,  was  changed  into  a  woodpecker 
by  Circe,  whose  love  he  had  slighted. 
&  Viz.  digitatae,  §  29. 


c  Oicero  N  J).  EC  160,  Div.  1 120  gives  the  same  classification. 
The  inclusion  of  the  peacock  in  the  latter  class  shows  that  the 

flighl 
318 


JLHD  JLU.VJLUOAUU  LU  uuts  jjeauuuK  in  DUO  latter  ciass  snows  onat  tne 
term  ales  refers  rather  to  display  of  the  wings  than  to  actual 
flight;  and  the  inclusion  of  the  cock  is  justified  by  pointing 


BOOK  X.  xx.  40-xxn.  43 

kind  of  grass  make  them  slip  out  again.  Trebius 
states  that  if  you  drive  a  nail  or  wedge  with  as  much 
force  as  you  like  into  a  tree  in  which  a  woodpecker 
has  a  nest,  when  the  bird  perches  on  it  it  at  once 
springs  out  again  with  a  creak  of  the  tree.  Wood- 
peckers themselves  have  been  of  the  first  importance 
among  auguries  in  Latium  from  the  time  of  the  king  a 
who  gave  his  name  to  this  bird.  One  presage  of 
theirs  I  cannot  pass  over.  When  Aelius  Tubero, 
City  Praetor,  was  giving  judgements  from  the  bench 
in  the  forum,  a  woodpecker  perched  on  his  head  so 
fearlessly  that  he  was  able  to  catch  it  in  his  hand. 
In  reply  to  enquiry  the  seers  declared  that  disaster 
was  portended  to  the  empire  if  the  bird  were  released, 
but  to  the  praetor  if  it  were  killed.  Tubero  however 
at  once  tore  the  bird  in  pieces ;  and  not  long  after- 
wards he  fulfilled  the  portent. 

XXI.  Many  birds  in  this  class  feed  also  on  acorns  #«&**»  °f 
and  fruit,  but  those  that  eat  only  flesh  do  not  drink,  species. 
excepting  the  kite,  and  for  a  kite  to  drink  counts  in 
itself  as  a  direful  augury.    The  birds  having  talons 
never  live  in  flocks,  and  each  hunts  for  itself.    But 

they  almost  all  except  the  night-birds  among  them 
fly  high,  and  the  bigger  ones  higher.  All  have  large 
wings  and  a  small  body.  They  walk  with  difficulty. 
They  rarely  perch  on  rocks,  as  the  curve  of  their 
talons  prohibits  this. 

XXII.  Now  let  us  speak  a  boutthe  second  class J,  clawed  birds 
which  is  divided  into  two  kinds,  song-birds  and  ^l€^or 
plumage-birds.c    The  former  kind  are  distinguished  plumage. 
by  their  song  and  the   latter  by  their  size ;  so  the 

latter  shall  come  first  in  order  also,  and  among  them 

out  that  its  cantus  is  proceeded  by  plaiwtf  lcd&mm>  and  by 
reference  to  its  tripudia,  §§  46,  49. 

319 


PLINY:    NATUKAL  HISTORY 

pavonum  genus  cum  forma  turn  intellectu  eius  et 
gloria,  gemmantes  laudatus  expandit  colores  ad- 
verso  maxime  sole,  quia  sic  fulgentius  radiant; 
simul  umbrae  quosdam  repercussus  ceteris,  qui  et 
in  opaco  clarius  micant,  conchata  quaerit  cauda, 
omnesque  in  acervum  contrahit  pinnarum  quos 

44  spectari  gaudet  oculos.    idem  cauda  annuls  vicibus 
amissa  cum  foliis  arborum,  donee  rena^catur  alia  cum 
flore,    pudibundus    ac   maerens    quaerit    latebram. 
vivit  annis  xxv,  colores  fundere  incipit  in  trimatu. 
ab   auctoribus  non  gloriosum   tantum   animal   hoc 
traditur,  sed  et  malivolum,  sicut  anserem  verecun- 
dum — quoniam  has  quoque  quidam  addiderunt  notas 
in  iis,  haud  probatas  mini. 

45  XXIII.  Pavonem  cibi  gratia  Romae  primus  occidit 
orator  Hortensius  aditiali  cena  sacerdotii.     saginare 
primus  instituit  circa  novissimum  piraticum  bellum 
M.  Aufidius  Lurco,  eoque  ex  quaestu  reditus  HS. 
sexagena  milia  habuit. 

46  XXIV.  Proxime  gloriam  sentiunt  et  hi  nostri  vigiles 
nocturni  quos  excitandis  in  opera  mortalibus  rum- 
pendoque  somno  natura  genuit.     norunt  sidera  et 
ternas  distinguunt  horas  interdiu  cantu,  cum  sole  eunt 
cubitum,  quartaque  castrensi  vigilia  ad  curas  labor- 
emque  revocant  nee  solis  ortum  incautis  patiuntur 


a  Piracy  was  put  down  by  Pompey  in  67  B.C. 
b  I.e.  the  fourth  quarter  of  the  night. 


320 


BOOK  X.  xxii.  43-xxiv.  46 

before  all  the  rest  will  come  the  peacock  class,  both 
because  of  its  beauty  and  because  of  its  consciousness 
of  and  pride  in  it.  When  praised  it  spreads  out  its 
jewelled  colours  directly  facing  the  sun,  because  in 
that  way  they  gleam  more  brilliantly;  and  at  the 
same  time  by  curving  its  tail  like  a  shell  it  contrives 
as  it  were  reflexions  of  shadow  for  the  rest  of  its 
colours,  which  actually  shine  more  brightly  in  jthe 
dark,  and  it  draws  together  into  a  cluster  all  the  eyes 
of  its  feathers,  as  it  delights  in  having  them  looked  at. 
Moreover  when  it  moults  its  tail  feathers  every  year 
with  the  fall  of  the  leaves,  it  seeks  in  shame  and 
sorrow  for  a  place  of  concealment  until  others  are 
born  again  with  the  spring  flowers.  It  lives  for  25 
years,  but  it  begins  to  shed  its  colours  at  the  age  of 
three.  The  authorities  relate  that  this  creature  is 
not  only  ostentatious  but  also  spiteful,  just  as  the 
goose  is  said  to  be  modest — since  some  writers  have 
added  these  characteristics  also  in  that  species, 
though  I  do  not  accept  them. 

XXIII.  The  first  person  at  Rome  to  kill  a  peacock  ^* 
for  the  table  was  the  orator  Hortensius,  at  theffi 
inaugural    banquet   of  his    priesthood.    Fattening 
peacocks  was  first  instituted  about  the  time  of  the 
last  pirate  war  °  by  Marcus  Aufidius  Lurco,  and  he 
made  60,000  sesterces  profit  from  this  trade. 

XXIV.  Nearly  equally  proud  and  self-conscious  are  The  f am- 
also  our  Roman  night-watchmen,  a  breed  designed  y 

by  nature  for  the  purpose  of  awakening  mortals 
for  their  labours  and  interrupting  sleep.  They  are 
skilled  astronomers,  and  they  mark  every  three- 
hour  period  in  the  daytime  with  song,  go  to  bed  with 
the  sun,  and  at  the  fourth  camp-watch b  recall  us 
to  our  business  and  our  labour  and  do  not  allow 

321 

VOL.  III.  v 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

obrepere,  diemque  venientem  nuntiant  cantu,  ipsum 

47  vero  cantum  plausu  laterum.    imperitant  suo  generi, 
et  regnum  in  quacumque  sunt  domo  exercent.    dirni- 
catione  paritnr  hoc  inter  ipsos,  velut  ideo  tela  agnata 
cruribus  suis  intellegentium,  nee  finis  saepe  nisi 1 
commorientibus.     quod  si  palma  contigit,2  statim  in 
victoria    canunt    seque    ipsi    principes    testantur; 
victus  occult atur  silens  aegreque  servitium  patitur. 
et  plebs  tamen  aeque  superba  graditur  ardua  cervice, 
cristis  celsa,  caelumque  sola  volucrum  aspicit  crebra, 
in  sublime  caudam  quoque  falcatam  erigens.     ita- 
que  terrori  sunt  etiam  leonibus  ferarum  generosissi- 

48  mis.    iam  ex  ins  quidam  ad  bella  tantum  et  proelia 
adsidua  nascuntur — quibus  etiam  patrias  nobilitarunt, 
Rhodum  aut  Tanagram ;  secundus  est  honos  habitus 
Melicis  et  Chalcidicis, — ut  plane  dignae  aliti  tantum 

49  honoris  perhibeat  Romana  purpura.     horum    sunt 
tripudia   sollistima,   M   magistratus   nostros  cotidie 
regunt  domusque  ipsis  suas  claudunt  aut  reserant, 
hi  fasces  Romanes  inpellunt  aut  retinent,  iubent  acies 
aut    prohibent,    victoriarum    omnium    toto    orbe 
partarum  auspices ;  hi  maxime  terraruna  imperio  im- 
perantj  extis  etiam  fibrisque  haut  aliter  quam  opimae 
victimae  diis  gratae.    habent  ostenta  et 3  praeposteri 
eorum  vespertinique  cantus :  namque  totis  noctibus 

1  nisi  add.  edd. 

2  Mayhoff:  contingit. 

3  v.l.  ex  se  et  (ex  re  cognita  ?  Mayhoff). 

0  Omens  were  taken  from  the  way  in  which  chickens  kept 
for  the  purpose  ate  grain  given  to  them ;  it  was  a  good  sign 
if  they  ate  greedily,  letting  grain  drop  on  the  ground  in  a 
'  perfectly  regular  three-step,'  tripudium  sottistimum,  like  the 
triple  beat  of  the  foot  in  a  ritual  dance. 

322 


BOOK   X.  xxiv.  46-49 

the  sunrise  to  creep  upon  us  unawares,  but  herald 
the  coming  day  with  song,  while  they  herald  that 
song  itself  with  a  flapping  of  their  wings  against  their 
sides.  They  lord  it  over  their  own  race,  and  exercise 
royal  sway  in  whatever  household  they  live.  This 
sovereignty  they  win  by  duelling  with  one  another, 
seeming  to  understand  that  weapons  grow  upon 
their  legs  for  this  purpose,  and  often  the  fight  only 
ends  when  they  die  together.  If  they  win  the  palm, 
they  at  once  sing  a  song  of  victory  and  proclaim 
themselves  the  champions,  while  the  one  defeated 
hides  in  silence  and  with  difficulty  endures  servitude. 
Yet  even  the  common  herd  struts  no  less  proudly, 
with  uplifted  neck  and  combs  held  high,  and  alone  of 
birds  casts  frequent  glances  at  the  sky,  also  rearing 
its  curved  tail  aloft.  Consequently  even  the  lion, 
the  noblest  of  wild  animals,  is  afraid  of  the  cock. 
Moreover  some  cocks  are  born  solely  for  constant 
wars  and  battles — by  which  they  have  even  con- 
ferred fame  on  their  native  places,  Rhodes  or  Tana- 
gra;  the  fighting  cocks  of  Melos  and  Chalcidice 
have  been  awarded  second  honours — so  that  the 
Roman  purple  confers  its  high  honour  on  a  bird  full 
worthy  of  it.  These  are  the  birds  that  give  the 
Most-Favourable  Omens  a ;  these  birds  daily  control 
our  officers  of  state,  and  shut  or  open  to  them  their 
own  homes;  these  send  forward  or  hold  back  the 
Roman  rods  of  office,  and  order  or  forbid  battle 
formation,  being  the  auspices  of  all  our  victories 
won  all  over  the  world;  these  hold  supreme  empire 
over  the  empire  of  the  world,  being  as  acceptable 
to  the  gods  with,  even  their  inward  parts  and  vitals 
as  are  the  costliest  victims.  Even  their  later 
and  their  evening  songs  contain  portents;  for  by 

323 

Y2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

canendo  Boeotiis  nobilem  illam  adversus  Lacedae- 
monios  praesagivere  victoriam,  ita  coniecta  inter- 
pretatione  quoniam  victa  ales  ilia  non  caneret. 

50  XXV.  Desinunt  canere  castrati,  quod  duobus  fit 
modis,    lumbis    adustis    candente    ferro    ant    imis 
cruribus,  mox  ulcere  oblito  figlina  creta.     facilius  ita 
pinguescunt.     Pergami  omnibus  annis  spectaculurn 
gallorum    publice     editur    ceu    gladiatorum.     in- 
venitur  in  annalibus  in  agro  Ariminensi  M.  Lepido  Q. 
Catulo  coss.    in  villa  Galerii  locutum  gallinaceum, 
semel,  quod  equidem  sciam. 

51  XXVI.  Est  et  anseri  vigil  cura  Capitolio  testata 
defenso,   per   id   tempus    canum    silentio    proditis 
rebus,  quam  ob  causam  cibaria  anserum  censores  in 
primis  locant.     quin  et  fama  amoris  Aegii  dilecta 
forma  pueri  nomine  Olenii  Amphilochi,1  et  Glauces 
Ptolomaeo  regi  cithara  canentis  quam  eodem  tern- 
pore  et  aries  amasse  proditur.    potest  et  sapientiae 
videri  intellectus  his  esse :  ita  comes  perpetuo  adhae- 
sisse   Lacydi  philosopho   dicitur,  nusquam   ab    eo, 
non  in  publico  non  in  balineis,  non  noctu  non  inter- 
din  digressus. 

52  XXVII.  Nostri  sapientiores  qui  eos  iecoris  bonitate 
novere.    fartilibus  in  magnam  amplitudinem  crescit, 

1  Amphilochi  add.  (ex  AeL  Hist.  An.  V  29)  Hardouin. 


a  Leuctra,  371  B.C.  :  Cicero  Div.  I  74,  H  56  (from  Callis- 
thenes). 

6  78  B.C. 

e  In  390  B.C.,  when  Home  had  been  taken  by  the  Gauls, 
Manlhis  the  ex-consul  was  awakened  by  the  cackling  of  the 
geese  in  the  temple  of  Juno  just  in  time  to  save  the  Capitol 
from  the  enemy  who  were  storming  it. 

324 


BOOK  X.  xxrv.  49-xxvn.  52 

crowing  all  the  nights  long  they  presaged  to  the 
Boeotians  that  famous  victory  a  against  the  Spartans, 
conjecture  thus  interpreting  the  sign  because  this 
bird  when  conquered  does  not  crow. 

XXV.  Cocks  when  gelt  stop  crowing;  the  opera-  ca- 
tion is  performed  in  two  ways — by  searing  with  ^, 
glowing  iron  either  the  loins  or  the  bottom  parts 

of  the  legs,  and  then  smearing  the  wound  with 
potter's  clay.  This  operation  makes  them  easier  to 
fatten.  At  Pergamum  every  year  a  public  show  is 
given  of  cocks  fighting  like  gladiators.  It  is  found 
in  the  Annals  that  in  the  consulship  6  of  Marcus 
Lepidus  and  Quintus  Catulus,  at  the  country  house 
of  Galerius  in  the  Rimini  district,  a  farmyard  cock 
spoke — the  only  occasion,  so  far  as  I  know,  on  which 
this  has  occurred. 

XXVI.  The  goose  also  keeps  a  careful  watch,  as  is 
evidenced  by  its  defence  of  the  Capitol c  during  the 
time  when  our  fortunes  were  being  betrayed  by  the 
silence   of  the   dogs;    for  which  reason   food  for 
the  geese  is  one  of  the  first  contracts  arranged  by  the 
censors.    Moreover  there  is  the  story  of  the  goose 
at  Aegium  that  fell  in  love  with  the  supremely 
beautiful   boy   Amphilochus    of  Olenus,   and    also 
the  goose  that  loved  Glauce,  the  girl  that  played 
the  harp  for  King  Ptolemy,  whom  at  the  same  time 
also  a  ram  is  said  to  have  fallen  in  love  with.    These 
birds  may  possibly  be  thought  also  to  possess  the 
power  of  understanding  wisdom :  thus  there  is  a  story 
that  a  goose  attached  itself  continually  as  a  companion 
to  the  philosopher  Lacydes,  never  leaving  his  side 
by  night  or  day,  either  in  public  or  at  the  baths. 

XXVIL  Our  countrymen  are  wiser,  who  know  the  Foiegr&& 
goose  by  the  excellence  of  its  liver.    Stuffing  the 

3*5 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

exemptum  quoque  lacte  mulso  augetur.  nee  sine 
causa  in  quaestione  est  quis  tantum  bonum  invenerit, 
Scipione  1  Metellus  vir  consularis  an  Marcus  Seius 
eadem  aetate  eques  Romanus,  sed,  quod  constat, 
Messalinus  Cotta,  Messalae  oratoris  filius,  palmas 
pedum  ex  iis  torrere  atque  patinis  cum  gallinaceorum 
cristis  condire  reperit;  tribuetur  enim  a  me  culinis 
53  cuiusque  palma  cum  fide,  minim  in  hac  alite  a 
Morinis  usque  Romam  pedibus  venire:  fessi 
proferuntur  ad  primes,  ita  ceteri  stipatione  naturali 
propellunt  eos. 

Candidorum  alterum  vectigal  in  pluma.  velluntur 
quibusdam  locis  bis  anno,  rursus  plumigeri  vestiun- 
tur.  mollior  quae  corpora  proxima,  et  e  Germania 
laudatissima.  candidi  ibi,  verum  minores;  gantae 

54  vocantur;   pretium  plumae  eorum  in  libras  denarii 
quini.     et  inde  crimina  plerumque  auxilionun  prae- 
fectis   a  vigili  statione   ad  haec   aucupia   dimissis 
cohortibus  totis;   eoque  deliciae  processere  ut  sine 
hoc   stramento2  durare   iam   ne   virorum    quidem 
cervices  possint. 

55  XXVIIL  Aliud  repperit  Syriae  pars  quae  Com- 
magene  vocatur,  adipem  eorum  in  vase  aereo  cum 

1  v.L  Scipio.  2  Dalec. :  instrumento. 

326 


BOOK  X.  xxvii.  52-xxviii.  55 

bird  with  food  makes  the  liver  grow  to  a  great 
size,  and  also  when  it  has  been  removed  it  is  made 
larger  by  being  soaked  in  milk  sweetened  with 
honey.  Not  without  reason  is  it  a  matter  of  enquiry 
who  was  the  discoverer  of  so  great  a  boon — was  it 
Scipio  Metellus  the  consular,  or  his  contemporary 
Marcus  Seius,  Knight  of  Rome  ?  But  it  is  an  accepted 
fact  that  Messalinus  Cotta,  son  of  the  prator  Messala, 
invented  the  recipe  for  taking  from  geese  the  soles 
of  the  feet  and  grilling  them  and  pickling  them 
in  dishes  with  the  combs  of  domestic  cocks;  for  I 
will  award  the  palm  scrupulously  to  each  man's 
culinary  achievement.  A  remarkable  feat  in  the 
case  of  this  bird  is  its  coming  on  foot  all  the  way  to 
Rome  from  the  Morini  in  Gaul :  the  geese  that  get 
tired  are  advanced  to  the  front  rank,  and  so  all  the 
rest  drive  them  on  by  instinctively  pressing  forward 
in  their  rear. 

White  geese  yield  a  second  profit  in  their  feathers. 
In  some  places  they  are  plucked  twice  a  year,  and 
clothe  themselves  again  with  a  feather  coat.  The 
plumage  closest  to  the  body  is  softer,  and  that 
from  Germany  is  most  esteemed.  The  geese  there 
are  a  bright  white,  but  smaller ;  the  German  word 
for  this  bird  is  Gans ;  the  price  of  their  feathers  is  five- 
pence  per  pound.  And  owing  to  this  officers  in 
command  of  auxiliary  troops  frequently  get  into 
trouble  for  having  sent  whole  cohorts  away  from 
outpost  sentry  duty  to  capture  these  fowls;  and 
luxury  has  advanced  to  such  a  pitch  that  now  not 
even  the  male  neck  can  endure  to  be  without  goose- 
feather  bedding. 

XXVIIL  The  part  of  Syria  called  Commagene 

.  -  i     r     -r.  /»    ,          •         T         -J.-L 

has  made  another  discovery,  goose-fat  mixed  witn 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

cinnamo  nive  multa  obrutum  ac  rigore  gelido  macera- 
tum  ad  usum  praeclari  medicaminis  quod  ab  gente 
dicitur  Commagenum. 

56  XXIX.  Anserini1   generis   sunt  chenalopeces  et> 
quibus  lautiores  epulas  non  novit  Britannia,  chene- 
rotes,  fere  ansere  minores.     decet  et  tetraonas  suns 
nitor  absolutaque  nigritia,  in  superciliis  cocci  rubor. 
alterum    eoram    genus     vulturum    magnitudinem 
excedit   quorum  et  colorem  reddit,  nee   ulla   ales 
excepto  struthocamelo  maius  corpore  implens  pondus, 
in  tantum  aucta  ut  in  terra  quoque  immobilis  pre- 
hendatur.     gignunt    eos    Alpes    et    septentrionalis 
regio.     in    vivariis    saporem    perdunt,    moriuntur 

57  contumacia    spiritu    revocato.     proximae    iis    sunt 
quas  Hispania  aves  tardas  appellat,  Graecia  on-iSas? 
damnatas   in  cibis;    emissa   enim   ossibus   medulla 
odoris  taedium  extemplo  sequitur. 

58  XXX.  Indutias    habet   gens    Pygmaea    abscessu 
gruum,  ut  diximus,  cum  iis  dimicantiurn.    inmensus 
est  tractus  quo  veniunt,  si  quis  reputet,  a  mari  Eoo. 
quando  proficiscantur  consentiunt,  volant    ad    pro- 
spiciendum  alte,  ducem  quem  sequantur  eligunt,  in 
extremo  agmine  per  vices  qui  adclament  dispositos 

59  habent  et  qui  gregem  voce  contineant.     excubias 
habent  nocturnis  temporibus  lapillum  pede  sustin- 
entes,  qui  laxatus  somno  et  decidens  indiligentiam 

1  Gelen :  anseris. 

a  '  Birds  with  ears,'  the  bustard. 
*  VI  70,  VII  26  ff. 
328 


BOOK  X.  xxvin.  55-xxx.  59 

cinnamon  in  a  bronze  bowl,  covered  with  a  quantity 
of  snow  and  steeped  in  the  icy  mixture,  to  supply 
the  famous  medicine  that  is  called  after  the  tribe 
Cormnagemim. 

XXIX.  To  the  goose  kind  belong  the  sheldrake  and  varieties  of 
the  barnacle-goose,  the  latter  the  most  sumptuous  H^T^ 
feast  that  Britain  knows;   both  are  rather  smaller 

than  the  goose.  The  black  grouse  also  makes  a 
fine  show  with  its  gloss  and  its  absolute  blackness, 
with  a  touch  of  bright  scarlet  above  the  eyes. 
Another  variety  of  these  exceeds  the  size  of  vultures 
and  also  reproduces  their  colour,  nor  is  there  any 
bird  except  the  ostrich  that  attains  a  greater  weight 
of  body,  growing  to  such,  a  size  that  it  is  actually 
caught  motionless  on  the  ground.  They  are  a  product 
of  the  Alps  and  the  northern  region.  When  kept 
in  fishponds  they  lose  their  flavour,  and  obstinately 
hold  their  breath  till  they  die.  Next  to  these  are 
the  birds  that  Spain  calls  tardae  and  Greece 
otidesf  which  are  condemned  as  an  article  of  diet, 
because  when  the  marrow  is  drained  out  of  their 
bones  a  disgusting  smell  at  once  follows. 

XXX.  The  race  of  Pygmies  have  a  cessation  of  The  crane— 
hostilities  on  the  departure  of  the  cranes  that,  a£  a 

we  have  said,&  carry  on  war  with  them.  It  is  a  vast 
distance,  if  one  calculates  it,  over  which  they  come 
from  the  eastern  sea.  They  agree  together  when  to 
start,  and  they  fly  high  so  as  to  see  their  route  in 
front  of  them ;  they  choose  a  leader  to  follow,  and 
have  some  of  their  number  stationed  in  turns  at  the 
end  of  the  line  to  shout  orders  and  keep  the  flock 
together  with  their  cries*  At  night  time  they  have 
sentries  who  hold  a  stone  in  their  claws,  which  if 
drowsiness  makes  them  drop  it  falls  and  convicts 

329 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

coarguat:  ceterae  dormiunt  capite  subter  alam 
condito  alternis  pedibus  insistentes;  dux  erecto 

CO  providet  collo  ac  praedicit.  (eaedem  mansuefactae 
lasciviunt,  gyrosque  quosdam  in  decoro1  cursu 
vel  singulae  peragunt.2)  certum  est  Pontum  trans- 
volaturas  primuin  omnium  angustias  petere  inter 
duo  promunturia  Criumetopon  et  Carambim,  mox 
saburra  stabiliri;  cum  medium  transierint,  abici 
lapillos  e  pedibus,  cum  attigerint  continentem,  et  e 
gutture  harenam.  Cornelius  Nepos,  qui  divi  Au- 
gusti  principatu  obiit,  cum  scriberet  turdos  paulo 
ante  coeptos  saginari,  addidit  ciconias  magis  placere 
quam  grues,  cum  haec  nunc  ales  inter  primas  expeta- 
tur,  illam  nemo  velit  attigisse. 

61  XXXI.  Ciconiae  quonam  e  loco  veniant  aut  quo 
se  referant  incompertum  adhuc  est.  e  longinquo 
venire  non  dubium  eodem  quo  grues  modo,  illas 
hiemiSj  has  aestatis  advenas.  abiturae  congregantur 
in  loca  certa,  comitataeque  sic  ut  nulla  generis  sui 
relinquatur  (nisi  captiva  et  serva)  ceu  lege  praedicta 
die  recedunt.  nemo  vidit  agmen  discedentium, 
cum  discessurum  appareat,  nee  venire  sed  venisse 
cernimus;  utrumque  nocturnis  fit  temporibus,  et 

1  indecoro  ed&.>  <kaTid>  indecoro  ?  Mayhoff. 

2  eaedem  .  .  .  peragunt  infra  post  attigisse  tr.  UrlicTis. 


This  sentence  seems  to  belong  to  the  end  of  §  60. 
At  the  end  of  the  Tauric  Chersonese. 


BOOK  X.  xxx.  59-xxxi.  61 

them  of  slackness,  while  the  rest  sleep  with  their 
head  tucked  under  their  wing,  standing  on  either 
foot  by  turns ;  but  the  leader  keeps  a  lookout  with 
neck  erect  and  gives  warning.  (The  same  birds 
when  tamed  are  fond  of  play,  and  execute  certain 
circles  in  a  graceful  swoop,  even  one  bird  at  a 
time a).  It  is  certain  that  when  they  are  going  to 
fly  across  the  Black  Sea  they  first  of  all  make  for  the 
straits  between  the  two  promontories  of  Ramsbrow b 
and  Cararnbis,  and  proceed  to  ballast  themselves 
with  sand;  and  that  when  they  have  crossed  the 
middle  of  the  sea  they  throw  away  the  pebbles  out 
of  their  claws  and,  when  they  have  reached  the 
mainland,  the  sand  out  of  their  throats  as  well. 
Cornelius  Nepos,  who  died  in  the  principate  of  the  The  crane 
late  lamented  Augustus,  when  he  wrote  that  the/flflft*teMfc 
practice  of  fattening  thrushes  was  introduced  a  little 
before  his  time,  added  that  storks  were  more  in 
favour  than  cranes,  although  the  latter  bird  is  now 
one  of  those  most  in  request,  whereas  nobody  will 
touch  the  former. 

XXXI.  Where  exactly  storks  come  from  or  where  The  stork— 
they  go  to  has  not  hitherto  been  ascertained.  There  JJ^*1*" 
is  no  doubt  that  they  come  from  a  distance,  in  the 
same  manner  as  do  cranes,  the  former  being  winter 
visitors  and  the  latter  arriving  in  summer.  When 
about  to  depart  they  assemble  at  fixed  places,  and 
forming  a  company,  so  as  to  prevent  any  of  their 
class  being  left  behind  (unless  one  captured  and  in 
slavery),  they  withdraw  as  if  at  a  date  fixed  in  advance 
by  law.  No  one  has  seen  a  band  of  storks  departing, 
although  it  is  quite  clear  that  they  are  going  to  depart, 
nor  do  we  see  them  arrive,  but  only  see  that  they  have 
arrived;  both  arrival  and  departure  take  place  in 

33* 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

quamvis  ultra  citrave  pervolent,  numquam  tamen 

62  advenisse  usquam  nisi  noctu  existimantur.     Pytho- 
nos  Comen  vocant  in  Asia  patentibus  campis  ubi 
congregatae  inter  se  conmurmurant,  eamque  quae 
novissima    advenit    lacerant,    atque    ita    abeunt; 
notatum  post  idus  Augustas  non  temere  visas  ibi. 
sunt  qui   ciconiis   non  inesse  linguam   confirment. 
honos  iis  serpentium  exitio  tantus  ut  in  Thessalia 
capital    fuerit    occidisse    eademque    legibus    poena 
quae  in  homicidam. 

63  XXXII.  Simili  anseres  quoque  et  olores  ratione 
connneant,  sed  horum  volatus  cernitur.     Liburni- 
carum  more  rostrato  impetu  feruntur,  facilius  ita 
fmdentes   aera  quam  si  recta  fronte  inpellerent; 
a  tergo  sensim  dilatante  se  cuneo  porrigitur  agmen 
largeque  inpellenti  praebetur  aurae.     colla  inponunt 
praecedentibus,   fessos    duces    ad    terga   recipiunt. 
(ciconiae     nidos     eosdem    repetunt.      genetricum 
senectam  invicem  educant.)1  olorum  morte  narratur 
flebilis  cantus,  falso,  ut  arbitror  aliquot  experiments, 
idem  mutua  carne  vescuntur  inter  se. 

64  XXXIII.  Verum  haec  commeantium  per  maria 
terrasque  peregrinatio  non  patitur  differri  minores 
quoque  quibus  est  natura  similis.    utcumque  enim 
supra  dictas  magnitude  et  vires  corporum  invitare 

65  videri  possint,  coturnices  ante  etiam  semper adveniunt 

1  ciconiae  .  .  .  educant  supra   post    visas    ibi   §  62   tr.  ? 
Mayhoff. 


*  This  passage  seems  to  belong  to  §  62  mid. 
&  The  story  is  true  of  the  Whooper  Swan  but  not  of  the 
ordinary  Mute  Swan. 

332 


BOOK  X.  xxxi.  61-xxxni.  65 

the  night-time,  and  although  they  fly  to  and  fro 
across  the  country,  it  is  thought  that  they  have  never 
arrived  anywhere  except  by  night.  There  is  a  place 
in  Asia  called  Snakesdorp  with  a  wide  expanse  of 
plains  where  cranes  meet  in  assembly  to  hold  a 
palaver,  and  the  one  that  arrives  last  they  set  upon 
with  their  claws,  and  so  they  depart;  it  has  been 
noticed  that  they  have  not  frequently  been  seen  there 
after  the  first  fortnight  of  August.  Some  persons 
declare  that  storks  have  no  tongue.  They  are  held 
in  such  high  esteem  for  destroying  snakes  that  in 
Thessaly  to  kill  them  was  a  capital  crime,  for  which 
the  legal  penalty  was  the  same  as  for  homicide. 

XXXII.  Geese  and  swans  also  migrate  on  a  similar  other 
principle,  but  the  flight  of  these  is  seen.    They  travel  &£%!£' 
in  a  pointed  formation  like  fast  galleys,  so  cleaving 

the  air  more  easily  than  if  they  drove  at  it  with  a 
straight  front ;  while  in  the  rear  the  flight  stretches 
out  in  a  gradually  widening  wedge,  and  presents  a 
broad  surface  to  the  drive  of  a  following  breeze.  They 
place  then;  necks  on  the  birds  in  front  of  them, 
and  when  the  leaders  are  tired  they  receive  them 
to  the  rear.  (Storks  return  to  the  same  nest. 
They  nourish  their  parents'  old  age  in  their  turn.)  a 
A  story  is  told  about  the  mournful  song  of  swans  at 
their  death — a  false  story  as  I  judge  on  the  strength 
of  a  certain  number  of  experiences.6  Swans  are 
cannibals,  and  eat  one  another's  flesh. 

XXXIII.  But  this  migration  of  birds  of  passage  Smaller 
over  seas  and  lands  cloes  not  allow  us  to  postpone 

the  smaller  breeds  as  well  that  have  a  similar  nature. t 
For  however  much  the  size  and  strength  of  body  of 
the  kinds  above  mentioned  may  appear  to  invite 
them  to  travel,  the  quails  always  actually  arrive 

333 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

quam  grues,  parva  avis  et  cum  ad  nos  venit  terrestris 
potius  quam  sublimis ;  advolant  et  hae  simili  modo, 
non  sine  periculo  navigantium  cum  adpropinquavere 
terris:  quippe  veils  saepe  insidunt,1  et  hoc  semper 

66  noctu,  merguntque  navigia.    iter  est  iis  per  hospitia 
certa.     austro  non  volant,  umido  scilicet  et  graviore 
vento;    aura  tamen  vehi  volunt  propter   pondus 
corporum  viresque  parvas  (hinc  volantium  ilia  con- 
questio  labore  expressa) ;    aquilone   ergo  maxime 
volant   ortygometra   duce.    primam    earum   terrae 
adpropinquantem  accipiter  rapit;    semper  hinc  re- 
meantes    comitatum    sollicitant,     abeuntque     una 

67  persuasae    glottis    et   otus    et    cychramus.     glottis 
praelongam  exerit  linguam,  unde  ei  nomen.    hanc 
inifcio    blandita    peregrinatione     avide     provectam 
paenitentia   in   volatu   cum  labore   scilicet   subit: 
reverti  incomitatam  piget,  et  sequi,  nee  umquam 
plus  uno  die,  pergit — in  proximo  hospitio  deserit. 
verum    invenitur    alia,    antecedente    anno    relicta 

66  simili  modo,  in  singulos  dies,  cychramus  persever- 
antior  festinat  etiam  pervenire  ad  expetitas  sibi 
terras;  itaque  noctu2  eas  excitat  admonetque 
itineris.  otus  bubone  minor  est,  noctuis  maior, 

1  Caesarius :  incident  Mayhoff. 

2  Mayhoff  i  noctuis. 


0  Unfoicwn. 

*  This  identification  is  uncertain. 


334 


BOOK  X.  xxxm.  65-68 

before  the  cranes,  though  the  quail  is  a  small  bird 
and  when  it  has  come  to  us  remains  on  the  ground 
more  than  it  soars  aloft ;  but  they  too  get  here  by 
flying  in  the  same  way  as  the  cranes,  not  without 
danger  to  seafarers  when  they  have  come  near  to 
land:  for  they  often  perch  on  the  sails,  and  they 
always  do  this  at  night,  and  sink  the  vessels.  Their 
route  follows  definite  resting  places.  They  do  not 
fly  in  a  south  wind,  doubtless  because  it  is  damp 
and  rather  heavy,  yet  they  desire  to  be  carried  by 
the  breeze,  because  of  the  weight  of  their  bodies 
and  their  small  strength  (this  is  the  reason  for  that 
mournful  cry  they  give  while  flying,  which  is  wrung 
from  them  by  fatigue);  consequently  they  fly 
mostly  in  a  north  wind,  a  landrail  leading  the  way. 
The  first  quail  approaching  land  is  seized  by  a  hawk ; 
1  from  the  place  where  this  happens  they  always 
return  and  try  to  get  an  escort,  and  the  tongue- 
bird^  eared  owl  and  ortolan5  are  persuaded  to  make 
the  journey  with  them.  The  tongue-bird  takes  its 
name  from  the  very  long  tongue  that  it  puts  out  of 
its  beak.  At  the  start  the  charm  of  travelling 
lures  this  bird  to  sail  on  eagerly,  but  in  the  course 
of  the  flight  repentance  comes  to  it,  no  doubt  with 
the  fatigue ;  but  it  does  not  like  to  return  unaccom- 
panied, and  it  goes  on  following,  though  never 
for  more  than  one  day — at  the  next  resting  place  it 
deserts.  But  day  after  day  the  company  find  another 
one,  left  behind  in  a  similar  manner  the  year  before. 
The  ortolan  is  more  persevering,  and  hurries  on 
actually  to  complete  the  journey  to  the  lands  which 
they  are  seeking ;  consequently  it  rouses  up  the  birds 
in  the  night  and  reminds  them  of  their  journey. 
The  eared  owl  is  smaller  than  the  eagle-owl  and 

335 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

auribus  plumeis  eminentibus,  unde  et  nomen  illi — 
quidam  Latine  axionem  vocant;  imitatrix  alias 
avis  ac  parasita  et  quodam  genere  saltatrix.  capitur 
haut  difficulter  ut  noctuae,  intentam  in  aliquem 

69  circumeunte  alio.     quod  si  ventus   agmen  adverse 
fiatu   coepit   inhibere,   pondusculis  lapidum  adpre- 
hensis  aut  gutture  harena  repleto  stabilitae  volant, 
coturnicibus  veneni  semen  gratissimus  cibus,  quam 
ob     causam    eas    damnavere    mensae;     simulque 
comitialem  propter  morbum  despui  suetum,   quern 
solae  animalium  sentiunt  praeter  hominem. 

70  XXXIV.  Abeunt  et  hirundines  hibernis  mensibus, 
sola  carne  vescens  avis  ex  iis  quae  aduncos  ungues 
non  habent;    sed  in  vicina  abeunt  apricos  secutae 
montium  recessus,  inventaeque  iam  sunt  ibi  nudae 
atque  deplumes.    Thebarum  tecta  subire  negantur, 
quoniam  urbs  ilia  saepius  capta  sit,  nee  Bizyes  in 

71  Threcia  propter  scelera  Terei.     Caecina  Volaterranus 
equestris  ordinis  quadrigarum  dominus  conprehensas 
in  urbem  secum  auferens  victoriae  nuntias  amicis 
mittebat  in  eundem  nidum  remeantes  inlito  victoriae 
colore.     tradit  et  Fabius  Pictor  in  annalibus  suis, 
cum  obsideretur  praesidium  Romanum  a  Ligustinis 
hirundmem  a  pullis  ad  se  adlatam,  ut  lino  ad  pedem 

0  Swallows  eat  insects. 
336 


BOOK  X.  xxxin.  68-xxxiv.  71 

larger  than  night-owls;  it  has  projecting  feathery 
ears,  whence  its  name — some  give  it  the  Latin  name 
'  axio  ' ;  moreover  it  is  a  bird  that  copies  other 
kinds  and  is  a  hanger-on,  and  it  performs  a  kind  of 
dance.  Like  the  night-owl  it  is  caught  without 
difficulty  if  one  goes  round  it  while  its  attention  is 
fixed  on  somebody  else.  If  a  wind  blowing  against 
them  begins  to  hold  up  a  flight  of  these  birds,  they 
pick  up  little  stones  as  ballast  or  fill  their  throat  with 
sand  to  steady  their  flight.  Quails  are  very  fond  of 
eating  poison  seed,  on  account  of  which  our  tables 
have  condemned  them ;  and  moreover  it  is  customary 
to  spit  at  the  sight  of  them  as  a  charm  against 
epilepsy,  to  which  they  are  the  only  living  creatures 
that  are  liable  besides  man. 

XXXIV.  Swallows,  the  only  flesh-eating0  bird  ^j^fjf" 
among  those  that  have  not  hooked  talons,  also  use  for 
migrate  in  the  winter  months ;  but  they  only  retire  messa^es- 
to  places  near  at  hand,  making  for  the  sunny  gulleys 
in  the  mountains,  and  they  have  before  now  been 
found  there  moulted  and  bare  of  feathers.  It  is 
said  that  they  do  not  enter  under  the  roofs  of  Thebes, 
because  that  city  has  been  so  often  captured,  nor  at 
Bizye  in  Thrace  on  account  of  the  crimes  of  Tereus. 
A  man  of  knightly  rank  at  Volterra,  Caecina,  who 
owned  a  racing  four-in-hand,  used  to  catch  swallows 
and  take  them  with  him  to  Rome  and  despatch 
them  to  take  the  news  of  a  win  to  his  friends,  as  they 
returned  to  the  same  nest;  they  had  the  winning 
colour  painted  on  them.  Also  Fabius  Pictor 
records  in  his  Annals  that  when  a  Roman  garrison 
was  besieged  by  the  Ligurians  a  swallow  taken  from 
her  nestlings  was  brought  to  him  for  him  to  indicate 
by  knots  made  in  a  thread  tied  to  its  foot  how 

337 

VOL.  III.  Z 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

cms  adligato  nodis  significaret  quoto  die  adveniente 
auxilio  eruptio  fieri  deberet. 

72  XXXV.  Abeunt   et  merulae   turdique   et   sturni 
simili  modo  in  vicina ;  sed  hi  plumam  non  amittunt, 
nee  occultantur,  visi  saepe  ibi  quo  hibernum  pabulum 
petunt.    itaque  in  Germania  hieme  maxima  turdi 
cernuntur.      verius    turtur    occultatur,     pinnasque 
amittit.     abeunt  et  palumbes;    quonam  et  in  his 

73  incertum.     sturnorum  generi  proprium    catervatim 
volare  et  quodam  pilae  orbe  circumagi  omnibus  in 
medium  agmen  tendentibus.    volucrum  soli  hirun- 
dini  flexuosi  volatus  velox  celeritas,  quibus  ex  causis 
neque  rapinae  ceterarum  alitum  obnoxia  est.     ea- 
dem  *  sola  avium  nonnisi  in  volatu  pascitur. 

XXXVI.  Temporum  magna  differentia  avibus : 
perennes,  ut  columbae,  semenstres,  ut  hirundines, 
trimenstres,  ut  turdi,  turtur es  et  quae  cum  fetum 
eduxere  abeunt,  ut  galguli,  upupae. 

74  XXXVII.  Auctores  sunt  omnibus  annis  advolare 
Ilium  ex  Aethiopia  aves  et  confligere  ad  Memnonis 
tumulum,  quas  ob  id  Memnonidas  vocant.     hoc  idem 
quinto  quoque  anno  facere  eas  in  Aethiopia  circa 
regiam  Memnonis  exploratum  sibi  Cremutius  tradit. 

XXXVIII.  Simili  modo  pugnant  meleagrides  in 
Boeotia ;  Africae  hoc  est  gallinarum  genus  gibberum, 

1  Mayhoff :  ea  demum, 
0  Guinea-hens. 

338 


BOOK  X.  xxxiv.  7i-xxxviii.  74 

many  days  later  help  would  arrive  and  a  sortie  must 
be  made. 

XXXV.  Blackbirds,  thrushes   and  starlings  also  other 
migrate  in  a  similar  way  to  neighbouring  districts ; miffrants' 
but  these  do  not  moult  their  plumage,  and  do  not 

go  into  hiding,  being  often  seen  in  the  places  where 
they  forage  for  winter  food.  Consequently  in  Ger- 
many thrushes  are  most  often  seen  in  winter.  The 
turtle-dove  goes  into  hiding  in  a  truer  sense3  and 
moults  its  feathers.  Wood-pigeons  also  go  into  re- 
treat, though  in  their  case  also  it  is  not  certain  exactly 
where.  It  is  a  peculiarity  of  the  starling  kind  that 
they  fly  in  flocks  and  wheel  round  in  a  sort  of  circular 
ball,  all  making  towards  the  centre  of  the  flock. 
The  swallow  is  the  only  bird  that  has  an  extremely 
swift  and  swerving  flight,  owing  to  which  it  is  also 
not  liable  to  capture  by  the  other  kinds  of  birds. 
Also  the  swallow  is  the  only  bird  that  only  feeds 
when  on  the  wing. 

XXXVI.  There  is  a  great  difference  in  the  seasons 
of  birds ;  some  stay  all  the  year  round,  e.g.  pigeons, 
some  for  six  months,  e.g.  swallows,  some  for  three 
months,  e.g.  thrushes  and  turtle-doves  and  those 
that  migrate  when  they  have  reared  their  brood, 
such  as  woodpeckers  and  hoopoes. 

XXXVII.  Some  authorities  state  that  every  year  A^ 
birds  fly  from  Ethiopia  to  Troy  and  have  a  fight 
at  Memnon's  tomb,  and  consequently  they  call  them 

*  Memnon's  daughters/  Cremutius  records  having 
discovered  that  every  four  years  they  do  the  same 
things  in  Ethiopia  round  the  royal  palace  of  Memnon. 

XXXVIII.  The  meleagrides"  in  Boeotia  fight  in  a  *•*»»• 
similar  manner;  this  is  a  kind  of  hen  belonging  to 
Africa,  hump-backed  and  with  speckled  plumage. 

339 
z2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

variis  sparsum  plumis.  quae  novissimae  sunt  pere- 
grinarum  avium  in  mensas  receptae  propter  ingratum 
virus ;  verum  Meleagri  tumulus  nobiles  eas  fecit. 

75  XXXIX.  Seleucides  aves  vocantur  quarum  adven- 
tum  ab  love  precibus  inpetrant  Cadmi  montis  incolae 
fruges  eorum  locustis  vastantibus ;  nee  unde  veniant 
quove  abeant  compertum,  numquam  conspectis  nisi 
cum  praesidio  earum  indigetur.    XL.  invocant  et 
Aegyptii  ibis  suas  contra  serpentium  adventum,  et 
Elei  Myiacoren  deum  muscarum  multitudine  pesti- 
lentiam  adferente,  quae  protinus  intereunt    quam 
litatum  est  ei  deo. 

76  XLL  Sed  in  secessu  avium   et   noctuae   paucis 
diebus  latere  traduntur;    quarum  genus  in  Greta 
insula  non  esse,1  etiam,  si  qua  invecta  sit,  emori. 
nam  haec  quoque  mira  naturae  differentia :  alia  aliis 
locis   negat,   tamquam  genera   frugum   fruticumve 
sic  et  animalium.    non  nasci  tralaticium,  invecta 
emori  mirum.    quod2  illud  est  unius  generis  saluti 
adversum,  quaeve  ista  naturae  invidia  ?  aut  qui  terra- 

77  rum  dicti   avibus  termini?     Rhodes   aquilam  non 
habet;     Transpadana    Italia   iuxta   Alpes    Larium 
lacum   appellat   amoenum  arbusto   agro   ad   quern 
ciconiae  non  permeant,  sicuti  nee   octavum   citra 
lapidem  ab  eo  inmensa  alioqui  iinitimo  Insubrum 

1  Maytoffi  est.  2  v.L  quid. 

340 


BOOK  X.  xxxvni.  74~xLi.  77 

This  is  the  latest  of  the  migratory  birds  admitted  to 
the  menu,  because  of  its  unpleasant  pungent  flavour ; 
but  the  Tomb  of  Meleager  has  made  it  famous. 
XXXIX.  There  is  a  species  called  birds  of  Seleucis  other 

»         i  .     i  r  rf>        i  ,      Y      .        ,        ,      rmgrants. 

for  whose  arrival  prayers  are  offered  to  Jupiter  by  the 
inhabitants  of  Mount  Cadmus  when  locusts  destroy 
their  crops ;  it  is  not  known  where  they  come  from, 
nor  where  they  go  to  when  they  depart,  and  they 
are  never  seen  except  when  their  protection  is  needed. 
XL.  Also  the  people  of  Egypt  invoke  their  ibis  to 
guard  against  the  arrival  of  snakes,  and  those  of 
Elis  invoke  the  god  Myiacores  when  a  swarm  of 
flies  brings  plague,  the  flies  dying  as  soon  as  a  sacrifice 
to  this  god  has  been  performed. 

XLI.  But  in  the  matter  of  the  withdrawal  of  birds,  ^  night- 
it  is  stated  that  even  night-owls  go  into  retreat  for  £-t&«?m 
a  few  days.  It  is  said  that  this  kind  does  not  exist  of  species. 
in  the  island  of  Crete  and  even  that  if  one  is  im- 
ported there  it  dies  off.  For  this  also  is  a  remarkable 
point  of  variety  established  by  nature:  to  various 
places  she  denies  various  species  of  animals  as  well 
as  of  crops  and  shrubs.  For  those  animals  not  to  be 
born  there  is  in  the  ordinary  course  of  things,  but 
their  dying  off  when  imported  there  is  remarkable. 
What  is  the  factor  adverse  to  the  health  of  a  single 
genus  that  is  involved,  or  what  is  the  jealousy  of 
nature  that  is  indicated?  Or  what  frontiers  are 
prescribed  for  birds  ?  Rhodes  does  not  possess  the 
eagle;  Italy  north  of  the  Po  gives  the  name  of 
Como  to  a  lake  near  the  Alps  graced  with  a 
wooded  tract  to  which  storks  do  not  come;  and 
similarly  jays  and  jackdaws — a  bird  whose  unique 
fondness  for  stealing  especially  silver  and  gold  is 
remarkable — though  swarming  in  enormous  numbers 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

tractu  examina  graculorum  monedularumque  (cui  soli 
avi  furacitas  argenti  aurique  praecipue  mira  est). 
picus  Martius  in  Tarentino  agro  negatur  esse. 

78  nuper  et  adhuc  tamen  rara  ab  Appennino  ad  urbem 
versus  cerni    coepere  picarum  genera   quae   longa 
insignes   cauda  variae   appellantur;     proprium   his 
calvescere  omnibus  annis  cum  seritur  rapa.     perdices 
non  trans  volant  Boeotiae  fines  in  Atticam,1  nee  ulla 
avis  in  Ponti  insula  qua  sepultus  est  Achilles  sacratam 
ei  aedem.    in  Fidenate  agro  iuxta  urbem  ciconiae  nee 
pullos  nee  nidum  faciunt.     at  in  agruna  Volaterranum 

79  palumbium  vis  e  mari  quotannis  advolat.     Romae  in 
aedem  Herculis  in  foro  Boario  nee  muscae  nee  canes 
intrant,  multa  praeterea  similia,  quae  prudens  subinde 
omitto  in  singulis  generibus,  fastidio  parcens,  quippe 
cum  Theophrastus  tradat  invecticias  esse  in  Asia  etiam 
columbas   et  pavones  et  corvos 2   et  in   Cyrenaica 
vocales  ranas. 

80  XLII.  Alia  admiratio  circa  oscines :    fere  mutant 
colorem  vocemque  tempore  anni,  ac  repente  fiunt 
aliae,  quod  in  grandiore  alitum  genere  grues  tantum : 
hae  enim  senectute  nigrescunt.    merula  ex  nigra 
rufescit;   canit  aestate,  hieme  balbutit,  circa  solsti- 
tium  muta ;  rostrum  quoque  anniculis  in  ebur  trans- 
figuratur,  dumtaxat  maribus.    turdis  colos  aestate 
circa  cervicem  varius,  hieme  concoloribus.3 

1  Gfesner :  Attica.  z  v.l.  cervos. 

8  Mayhoff:  coneolor. 

a  Leuce. 
342 


BOOK  X.  XLI.  77-xLii.  80 

in  the  adjacent  region  of  the  Insubrians,  do  not 
come  within  eight  miles  of  Lake  Como.  It  is 
said  that  Mars's  woodpecker  is  not  found  in  the 
district  of  Taranto .  '  The  kinds  of  pie  called  chequered 
pies  and  distinguished  for  their  long  tail,  though 
hitherto  rare,  have  lately  begun  to  be  seen  between 
the  Apennines  and  Rome ;  this  bird  has  the  peculiarity 
of  moulting  its  feathers  yearly  at  the  time  when  the 
turnip  is  sown.  Partridges  do  not  fly  across  the 
frontier  of  Boeotia  into  Attica;  nor  does  any  bird 
fly  across  the  temple  dedicated  to  Achilles  on  the 
island  a  of  the  Black  Sea  where  he  is  buried.  In 
the  district  of  Fidenae  near  Rome  storks  do  not 
hatch  chicks  or  make  nests.  But  a  quantity  of 
pigeons  every  year  fly  from  the  sea  to  the  district 
of  Volterra.  Neither  flies  nor  dogs  enter  the  temple 
of  Hercules  in  the  Cattle-market  at  Rome,  There 
are  many  similar  facts  besides,  which  I  am  continually 
careful  to  omit  in  my  account  of  the  several  kinds, 
to  avoid  being  wearisome — for  example  Theophrastus 
states  that  even  pigeons  and  peacocks  and  ravens 
are  not  indigenous  in  Asia,  nor  croaking  frogs  in 
Cyrenaica. 

XLIL  There  is  another  remarkable  fact  about 
song-birds;  they  usually  change  their  colour 
and  note  with  the  season,  and  suddenly  become 
different — which  among  the  larger  class  of  birds 
only  cranes  do,  for  these  grow  black  in  old  age. 
The  blackbird  changes  from  black  to  red;  and  it 
sings  in  the  summer,  and  chirps  in  winter,  but  at 
midsummer  is  silent;  also  the  beak  of  yearling 
blackbirds,  at  all  events  the  cocks,  is  turned  to  ivory 
colour.  Thrushes  are  of  a  speckled  colour  round  the 
neck  in  summer  but  self-coloured  in  winter. 

343 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

81  XLIII.  Luscinis  diebus  ac  noctibus  continuis  xv 
garrulus  sine  intermissu  cantus  densante  se  frondium 
gemxine,    non   in    novissimis x    digna    miratu    ave. 
primmn  tanta  vox  tarn  parvo  in  corpusculo,  tam 
pertinax  spiritus ;   deinde  in  una  perfecta  musicae  2 
scientia:  modulatus  editur  sonus,  et  mine  continue 
spiritu  trahitur  in  longum,  nunc  variatur  inflexo, 
nunc*  distinguitur  concise,  copulatur  intorto,   pro- 

82  mittitur  revocato ;  infuscatur  ex  inopinato,  interdum 
et  secum  ipse  murmurat,  plenus,3  gravis,   acutus, 
creber,   extentus,  ubi  visum  est  vibrans — summus, 
medius,  imus ;    breviterque  omnia  tam  parvulis  in 
faueibus  quae  tot  exquisitis  tibiarum  tormentis  ars 
hominum   excogitavit,   ut   non 4   sit   dubium   hanc 
suavitatem  praemonstratam  efficaci  auspicio  cum  in 
ore  Stesichori  cecinit  infantis.     ac  ne  quis  dubitet 
artis  esse,  plures  singulis  sunt  cantus,  nee  iidem 

83  omnibus,  sed  sui  cuique.    certant  inter  se,  palamque 
animosa    contentio    est;     victa    morte    finit    saepe 
vitam,  spiritu  prius  deficiente  quam  cantu.    medi- 
tantur   aliae   iuveniores   versusque    quos   imitentur 
acciphmt;     audit    discipula    intentione    magna    et 
reddit,  vicibusque  reticent;   intellegitur  emendatae 
correctio 5    et    in    docente    quaedam    reprehensio. 

84  ergo  servorum  illis  pretia  sunt,  et  quidem  ampliora 

1  edd. :  novissimum.  2  v.L  musica. 

3  plenus  <inanis>  ?  Rackham.  4  non  ut  Mayhoff* 

5  edd* :  correptio. 


0  Some  antithesis  to  plynMS  seems  to  have  been  lost  in  the 
Latin  text. 

b  Famous  Sicilian  Greek  poet,  632-552  B.C.,  on  whose  lips 
in  infancy  a  nightingale  perched  and  sang. 

344 


BOOK  X.  XLIII.  81-84 
XLIII.  Nightingales  pour  out  a  ceaseless  gush 


of  the  leaves  are  swelling  —  a  bird  not  in  the  lowest  variety  of 
rank  remarkable.  In  the  first  place  there  is  so  loud  tt*song' 
a  voice  and  so  persistent  a  supply  of  breath  in  such 
a  tiny  little  body;  then  there  is  the  consummate 
knowledge  of  music  in  a  single  bird  :  the  sound  is 
given  out  with  modulations,  and  now  is  drawn  out 
into  a  long  note  with  one  continuous  breath,  now 
varied  by  managing  the  breath,  now  made  staccato 
by  checking  it,  or  linked  together  by  prolonging 
it,  or  carried  on  by  holding  it  back  ;  or  it  is  suddenly 
lowered,  and  at  times  sinks  into  a  mere  murmur,  loud, 
low,a  bass,  treble,  with  trills,  with  long  notes,  modu- 
lated when  this  seems  good  —  soprano,  mezzo,  bari- 
tone ;  and  briefly  all  the  devices  in  that  tiny  throat 
which  human  science  has  devised  with  all  the  elabor- 
ate mechanism  of  the  flute,  so  that  there  can  be  no 
doubt  that  this  sweetness  was  foretold  by  a  con- 
vincing omen  when  it  made  music  on  the  lips  of  the 
infant  Stesichorus.&  And  that  no  one  may  doubt 
its  being  a  matter  of  science,  the  birds  have  several 
songs  each,  and  not  all  the  same  but  every  bird  songs 
of  its  own.  They  compete  with  one  another,  and 
there  is  clearly  an  animated  rivalry  between  them; 
the  loser  often  ends  her  life  by  dying,  her  breath 
giving  out  before  her  song.  Other  younger  birds 
practise  their  music,  and  are  given  verses  to  imitate  ; 
the  pupil  listens  with  close  attention  and  repeats 
the  phrase,  arid  the  two  keep  silence  by  turns:  we 
notice  improvement  in  the  one  under  instruction 
and  a  sort  of  criticism  on  the  part  of  the  instructress. 
Consequently  they  fetch  the  prices  that  are  given  Trade  m 
for  slaves,  and  indeed  larger  prices  than  were 


345 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

quam  quibus  olim  armigeri  parabantur.  scio  HS. 
vi  candidam  alioquin,  quod  est  prope  invisitatum,1 
venisse  quae  Agrippinae  Claudii  principis  coniugi 
dono  daretur.  visum  iam  saepe  iussas  canere 
coepisse  et  cum  symphonia  alternasse,  sicut  homines 
repertos  qui  sonum  earum  addita  in  transversas 
harundines  aqua  foramina 2  inspirantes  linguave 3 
parva  aliqua  opposita  mora  indiscreta  redder ent 

85  similitudine.     sed    hae     tantae     tamque     artifices 
argutiae    a   xv  diebus  paulatim  desinunt — nee  ut 
fatigatas  possis  dicere  aut  satiatas  ;  mox  aestu  aucto 
in  totum  alia  vox  fit,  nee  modulata  aut  varia.    muta- 
tur  et  color,  postremo    hieme  ipsa   non  cernitur. 
linguis    earum  tenuitas   ilia   prima   non    est    quae 
ceteris  avibus.    pariunt  vere  primo  cum  plurimum 
sena  ova. 

86  XLIV.  Alia  ratio   ficedulis,   nam  formam   simul 
coloremque  mutant;   hoc  nomen  autumno  habent, 
postea    melancoryphi    vocantur.     sic    et    eritnacus 
hieme,  idem  phoenicurus  aestate.    mutat  et  upupa, 
ut  tradit  Aeschylus  poeta,  obscena  alias  pastu  avis, 
crista  visenda  plicatili  contrahens  earn  subrigensque 
per  longitudinem  capitis. 

87  XLV.  Oenanthe  quidem  etiam  states  latebrae  dies 
habet:    exoriente  sirio  occultata  ab  occasu  eiusdem 

1  v.l.  innsitatam  (of.  §  132).  2  Rackham :  foramen. 

3  v.l.  linguaeve. 

a  Kr.  quoted  Ar.  Hist.  An.  633a  19. 
346 


BOOK  X.  mil.  84-xLv.  87 

for  armour-bearers  in  old  days.  I  know  of  one  bird, 
a  white  one  it  is  true,  which  is  nearly  unprecedented, 
that  was  sold  for  600,000  sesterces  to  be  given  as  a 
present  to  the  emperor  Claudius's  consort  Agrippina. 
Frequent  cases  have  been  seen  before  now  of  nightin- 
gales that  have  begun  to  sing  when  ordered,  and  have 
sung  in  answer  to  an  organ,  as  there  have  been  found 
persons  who  could  reproduce  the  birds'  song  with  an 
indistinguishable  resemblance  by  putting  water  into 
slanting  reeds  and  breathing  into  the  holes  or  by 
applying  some  slight  check  with  the  tongue.  But 
these  exceptional  and  artistic  trills  after  a  fortnight 
gradually  cease,  though  not  in  such  a  way  that 
the  birds  could  be  said  to  be  tired  out  or  to  have 
had  enough  of  singing ;  and  later  on  when  the  heat 
has  increased  their  note  becomes  entirely  different, 
with  no  modulations  or  variations.  Their  colour 
also  changes,  and  finally  in  winter  the  bird  itself  is 
not  seen.  Their  tongues  do  not  end  in  a  point  like 
those  of  all  other  birds.  They  lay  in  early  spring, 
six  eggs  at  most. 

XLIV.  It  is  otherwise  with  the  fig-pecker,  as  it 
changes  its  shape  and  colour  at  the  same  tim 
it  has  this  name  in  the  autumn,  but  afterwards 
called  the  blackcap.    Similarly  also  the  bird  known  plumage,  or 
as  erithacus  in  winter  is  called  redstart  in  summer. 
The  hoopoe  also  changes  its  appearance,  as  the  poet 
Aeschylus a  records;   it  is  moreover  a  foul-feeding 
bird,  noticeable  for  its  flexible  crest,  which  it  draws 
together  and  raises  up  along  the  whole  length  of 
its  head. 

XLV.  The  wheatear  indeed  actually  has  fixed  days 
of  retirement :  it  goes  into  hiding  at  the  rising  of  the 
dogstar  and  comes  out  after  its  setting,  doing  both 

34? 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

prodit,  quod  miremur,  ipsis  diebus  utrumque. 
chlorion  quoque,  qui  totus  est  luteus,  hieme  non 
visus,  circa  solstitia  procedit.  merulae  circa  Cylle- 
nen  Arcadiae  nee  usquam  aliubi  candidae  nascuntur. 
ibis  circa  Pelusium  tantum  nigra  est,  ceteris  omnibus 
locis  Candida. 

88  XLVI.  Oscines  praeter  exceptas  non  temere  fetus 
faciunt  ante  aequinoctium  vernum  aut  post  autumn- 
ale,  ante  solstitium  autem  dubios,  post  solstitium 
vitales. 

89  XLVII.  Eo    maxime    sunt    insignes    halcyones: 
dies  earum  partus  maria  quique  *•  navigant  nove're. 
ipsa  avis  paulo  amplior  passere,  colore  cyanea  et 
parte  inferiore  2  tantum  purpurea,  candidis  admixta 
pinnis   collo,    gracili    ac  procero    rostro.3    alterum 
genus   earum  magnitudine   distinguitur   et   cantu; 

90  minores  in  harundinetis  canunt.    halcyonem  videre 
rarissimum  est,  nee  nisi  vergiliarum  occasu  et  circa 
solstitia   brumamve,   nave   aliquando    circumvolata 
statim     in   latebras    abeuntem.     fetificant    bruma, 
qui  dies  halcyonides  vocantur,  placido  mari  per  eos  et 
navigabili,  Siculo  maxime.    faciunt  autem  septem 
ante  brumam  diebus  nidos,  et  totidem  sequentibus 

91  pariunt.    nidi   earum   admirationem   habent   pilae 
ftgura    paulum    eminenti    ore    perquam    angusto, 
grandium  spongearum  similitudine ;  ferro  intercidi 
non  queunt,  franguntur  ictu  valido,  ut  spuma  arida 


2  Mayhoff :  eyanea  ex  parfce  maiore  aut  alia. 

3  rostro  add.  ex  Aristotde  Mayhoff. 


a  Tliis  larger  variety  is  the  Pied  Kingfisher. 
*  About  the  beginning  of  November. 


348 


BOOK  X.  XLV.  Sy-xLvn.  91 

on  the  actual  days,  which  is  surprising.  Also  the 
golden  oriole,  which  is  yellow  all  over,  is  not  seen 
in  winter  but  comes  out  about  midsummer.  Black- 
birds are  born  white  at  Cyllene  in  Arcadia,  but 
nowhere  else.  The  ibis  is  black  ,only  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Pelusium,  being  white  in  all  other 
places. 

XLVI.  Songbirds  apart  from  some  exceptions  do  Breeding 
not  ordinarily  breed  before  the  spring  equinox  or  °fsong~ l    * 
after  the  autumn  one;   and  their  eggs  laid  before 
midsummer  are  doubtful,  but  those  after  midsummer 
are  fertile. 

XLVII.  Kingfishers  are  especially  remarkable  TheMw- 
for  this :  the  seas  and  those  who  sail  them  know  the  Basons  %wd 
days  when  they  breed.  The  bird  itself  is  a  little  ham- 
larger  than  a  sparrow,  sea-blue  in  colour  and  reddish 
only  on  the  underside,  blended  with  white  feathers 
in  the  neck,  with  a  long  slender  beak.a  There  is 
another  kind  of  kingfisher  different  in  size  and  note ; 
this  smaller  kind  sings  in  beds  of  rushes.  A  king- 
fisher is  very  rarely  seen,  and  only  at  the  setting b 
of  the  Pleiads  and  about  midsummer  and  midwinter, 
when  it  occasionally  flies  round  a  ship  and  at  once 
goes  away  to  its  retreat.  They  breed  at  midwinter, 
on  what  are  called  *  the  kingfisher  days/  during  which 
the  sea  is  calm  and  navigable,  especially  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Sicily.  They  make  their  nests 
a  week  before  the  shortest  day,  and  lay  a  week  after 
it.  Their  nests  are  admired  for  their  shape,  that 
of  a  ball  slightly  projecting  with  a  very  narrow 
mouth,  resembling  very  large  sponges;0  they  cannot 
be  cut  with  a  knife,  but  break  at  a  strong  blow,  like 

c  The  so-called  nests  on  which  this  story  is  based  are  clearly 
a  kind  of  sponge. 

349 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

maris ;  nee  unde  confingantur  invenitur :  putant  ex 
spinis  aculeatis,1  piscibus  enim  vivunt.  subeunt  et 
in  amnes.  pariunt  ova  quina. 

XLVIII.  Gaviae  in  petris  nidificant,  mergi  et  in 
arboribus.  pariunt  cum  2  plurimum  terna,  sed  gaviae 
aestate,  mergi  incipient e  vere. 

92  XLIX.  Haley onum  nidi  figura  reliquamm  quoque 
sollertiae  admonet ;  neque  alia  parte  ingenia  avium 
magis  admiranda  sunt.    hirundines  luto  construunt, 
stramento   roborant ;    si   quando    inopia    est    luti, 
madefactis  multa  aqua  pinnis  pulverem  spargunt. 
ipsum  vero  nidum  mollibus  plumis  floccisque  con- 
sternunt    tepefaciendis    ovis,    simul   ne    durus    sit 
infantibus    pullis.    in    fetum3    summa    aequitate 
alternant  cibum.    notabili  munditia  egerunt  excre- 
menta   pullorum,    adultioresque    circumagi    docent 

93  et  foris  saturitatem  emittere.     alterum  est  hirun- 
dinum  genus  rusticarum  et  agrestium  quae  raro  in 
domibus  diversos  figura  sed  eadem  materia  confingunt 
Taidos,  totos  supinos,  faucibus  porrectis  in  angustum, 
utero    capaci,   mirum    qua   peritia    et    occultandis 

94  habiles  pullis  et  substernencQs  molles.    in  Aegypti 
Heracleotico   ostio   molem   continuatione   nidorum 
evaganti  Nilci  inexpugnabilem  opponunt  stadii  fere 
unius  spatiOj  quod  humano  opere  perfici  non  posset. 

1  acularum  (c/.XXXII  11  belonae,  quos  aculas  vocamus 
Qronovius, 

2  cum  add.  ?  Mayhoff. 

3  Rackham  cdl.  Tac.  Ann.  II.  67  :  fetu. 


350 


a  I.e.  the  jSeAovT?,  Ar.  Hist.  An.  616a32,  garfish. 
5  J.e.  cormorants. 
*  Our  honae-martin. 


BOOK  X.  XLVII.  QI-XLIX.  94 

dry  sea-foam ;  and  it  cannot  be  discovered  of  what 
they  are  constructed :  people  think  they  are  made 
out  of  the  spines  of  fishes' a  prickles,  for  the  birds 
live  on  fish.  They  also  go  up  rivers.  They  lay  five 
eggs  at  a  time. 

XLVIII.  Gulls  nest  on  rocks,  divers6  also  m 
trees.  They  lay  at  most  three  eggs  at  a  time,  sea- 
mews  laying  in  summer  and  divers  at"  the  beginning 
of  spring. 

XLIX.  The  conformation  of  the  kingfisher's  nest 
reminds  one  of  the  skill  of  all  the  other  birds  as  well ;  %£$&  and 
and  the  ingenuity  of  birds  is  in  no  other  department 
more  remarkable.  Swallows  build  with  clay  and 
strengthen  the  nest  with  straw;  if  ever  there  is  a 
lack  of  clay,  they  wet  their  wings  with  a  quantity 
of  water  and  sprinkle  it  on  the  dust.  The  nest 
itself,  however,  they  carpet  with  soft  feathers  and 
tufts  of  wool,  to  warm  the  eggs  and  also  to  prevent 
it  from  being  hard  for  the  infant  chicks.  They  dole 
out  food  in  turns  among  their  offspring  with  extreme 
fairness.  They  remove  the  chicks'  droppings  with 
remarkable  cleanliness,  and  teach  the  older  ones  to 
turn  round  and  relieve  themselves  outside  of  the  nest. 
There  is  another  kind  of  swallow c  that  frequents  the 
country  and  the  fields,  which  seldom  nests  on  houses, 
and  which  makes  its  nest  of  a  different  shape  though 
of  the  same  material — entirely  turned  upward,  with 
orifices  proj  ecting  to  a  narrow  opening  and  a  capacious 
interio'r,  and  adapted  with  remarkable  skill  botlt  to 
conceal  the  chicks  and  to  give  them  a  soft  bed  to 
lie  on.  In  Egypt,  at  the  Heracleotic  Mouth  of  the 
Nile,  they  block  the  outflow  of  the  river  with  an 
irremovable  mole  of  contiguous  nests  almost  two 
hundred  yards  long,  a  thing  that  could  not  be  achieved 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

in  eadem  Aegypto  iuxta  oppidum  Copton  insula  est 
sacra  Isidi  quam  ne  laceret  amnis  idem  muniunt 
opere,  incipientibus  vernis  diebus  palea  et  stramento 
rostrum  eius  firmantes,  continuatis  per  triduum 
noctibus  tanto  labore  ut  multas  in  opere  et  a  mori 
constet ;  eaque  militia  illis  cum  anno  redit  semper. 

95  tertium  est  earum  genus  quae  rip  as  excavant  atque 
ita  in  terra  nidificant.2     (harum   pulli  ad  cinerem 
ambusti    mortifero  'faucium    malo    multisque    aliis 
morbis  humani  corporis  medentur.)    non  faciunt  hae 
nidos,  migrantque  multis  diebus  ante  si  futurum  est 
ut  auctus  amnis  attingat. 

96  L.  In  genere  vitiparrarum  est  cui  nidus  ex  musco 
arido  ita   absoluta  perficitur  pila  ut  inveniri  non 
possit  aditus.     acanthyllis  appellatur  eadem  figura 
ex    lino    intexens.     picorum    aliquis    suspenditur 
surculo  primis  in  ramis  cyathi  modo,  ut  nulla  quadripes 
possit  accedere.     galgulos  quidem  ipsos  dependentes 
pedibus  somnum  cap  ere  conformant  quia  tutiores  ita 

97  se    sperent.     iam   publicum    quidem    omnium    est 
tabulata  ramorum  sustinendo  nido  provide  eligere, 
camarare  ab  imbri  aut  fronde  protegere  densa.     in 
Arabia  cinnamolgus  avis  appellatur,  qjnnami  surculis 
nidificans.3  plumbatis  eos  sagittis  decutiunt  indigenae 
mercis  gratia,     in  Scythis  avis  magnitudine.  otidis 

1  v.L  opere  emori.  2  v.l.  ita  internidificant. 

3  Mayhoff :  nidificant  aut  -at. 

*  Our  sand-martin.       *  Our  long-tailed  tit. 

e  Our  goldfinch..  d  This  is  an  unfounded  story. 


BOOK  X.  XLTX.  94-L.  97 

by  human  labour.  Also  in  Egypt  near  the  town  of 
Coptos  there  is  an  island  sacred  to  Isis  which  they 
fortify  with  a  structure  to  prevent  its  being  destroyed 
by  the  same  river,  strengthening  its  point  with  chaff 
and  straw  when  the  spring  days  begin,  going  on  for 
three  days  all*  through  the  nights  with  such  industry 
that  it  is  agreed  that  many  birds  actually  die  at  the 
work ;  and  this  spell  of  duty  always  comes  round  again 
for  them  with  the  returning  year.  There  is  a  third 
kind  of  swallows  a  that  make  holes  in  banks  and  so 
construct  their  nests  in  the  ground.  (Their  chicks 
when  burnt  to  ashes  are  a  medicine  for  a  deadly 
throat  malady  and  many  other  diseases  of  the  human 
body.)  These  birds  do  not  build  proper  nests,  and 
if  a  rise  of  the  river  threatens  to  reach  their  holes, 
they  migrate  many  days  in  advance. 

L.  There  is  a  species  of  titmouse b  that  makes  other  species 
its  nest  of  dry  moss  finished  off  in  such  a  perfect  JS 
ball  that  its  entrance  cannot  be  found.  The  bird7 
called  the  thistle-finch c  weaves  its  nest  out  of  flax 
in  the  same  shape.  One  of  the  woodpeckers  hangs 
by  a  twig  at  the  very  end  of  the  boughs,  like  a  ladle 
on  a  peg,  so  that  no  four-footed  animal  can  get  to  it. 
It  is  indeed  asserted  that  the  witwall  purposely 
takes  its  sleep  while  hanging  suspended  by  the  feet. 
because  it  hopes  thus  to  be  safer.  Again,  it  is  a 
common  practice  of  them  all  carefully  to  choose  a 
flooring  of  branches  to  support  their  nest,  and 
to  vault  it  over  against  the  rain  or  roof  it  with  a 
penthouse  of  thick  foliage.  In  Arabia**  a  bird  called 
cinnamolgus  makes  a  nest  of  cinnamon  twigs; 
the  natives  bring  these  birds  down  with  arrows 
weighted  with  lead,  to  use  them  for  trade.  In 
Scythia  a  bird  of  the  size  of  a  bustard  lays  two  eggs 

353 

VOL.  III.  A  A 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

bina1  parit  in  leporina  pelle  semper  in  cacuminibus 

98  ramorum  suspensa.    picae  cum  diligentius  visum  ab 
homine  nidum  sens  ere,  ova  transgerunt  alio.    hoc 
in  his  avibus  quarum  digiti  non  sint  accommodati 
complectendis  transferendisque   ovis   miro  traditur 
modo :   namque  surculo  super  bina  ova  inposito  ac 
ferruminato    alvi    glutino    subdita    cervice    medio 
aequa  utrimque  libra  deportant  alio. 

99  LI.  Nee  vero  iis  minor  sollertia  quae  cunabula  in 
terra  faciunt  corporis  gravitate  prohibitae  sublime 
pet  ere.    merops  vocatur  genitores   suos  reconditos 
pascens,   pallido   intus    colore   pennarum,    superne 
cyaneo,  priore  parte2  subrutilo.    nidificat  in  specu 
sex  pedum  defossa  altitudine. 

100  Perdices  spina  et  frutice  sic  muniunt  receptaculum 
ut  contra  feras  abunde  vallentur;    ovis  stragulum 
molle  pulvere  contumulant,  nee  in  quo  loco  peperere 
incubant;    ne  cui  frequentior  conversatio  suspecta 
sit,  transferunt  alio.    illae  quidem  et  maritos  suos 
fallunt,   quoniam  intemperantia  libidinis  frangunt 
earum  ova  ne  incubando  detineantur,  tune  inter  se 
dimicant  mares  desiderio  feminarum;  victum  aiunt 

101  venerem  pati.    id  quidem  et  coturnices  Trogus  et 
gallinaceos  aliquando,  perdices  vero  a  domitis  feros 


1  Dcdecamp :  binos. 

2  Mayhoff  ex  Aristoide  :  priori. 


354 


BOOK  X.  L.  97-Li.  101 

at  a  time  in  a  hare-skin,  which  is  always  hung  on  the 
top  boughs  of  £rees.  When  magpies  notice  a  person 
observing  their  nest  with  special  attention,  they 
transfer  the  eggs  somewhere  else.  It  is  reported 
that  in  the  case  of  these  birds,  as  their  claws  are 
not  adapted  for  grasping  and  carrying  the  eggs, 
this  is  effected  in  a  remarkable  manner :  they  place 
a  sprig  on  the  top  of  two  eggs  at  a  time,  and  solder 
it  with  glue  from  their  belly,  and  placing  their  neck 
under  the  middle  of  it  so  as  to  make  it  balance 
equally  on  both  sides,  carry  it  off  somewhere  else. 

LI.  Nor  yet  are  those  species  less  cunning  which,  Wests  m.  the 
because  the  weight   of  their  body  forbids  their  grw   * 
soaring   aloft,  make   their  nests   on  the   ground. 
The  name  of  bee-eater  is  given  to  a  bird  that  feeds  its 
parents  in  their  lair ;  its  wings  are  a  pale  colour  inside 
and  dark-blue  above,  reddish  at  the  tip.    It  makes 
its  nest  in  a  hole  dug  in  the  ground  to  a  depth  of  ten 
feet. 

Partridges  fortify  their  retreat  with  thorn  and  Habits  of  the 
bush  in  such  a  way  as  to  be  completely  entrenched 
against  wild  animals;  they  heap  a  soft  covering  of 
dust  on  their  eggs,  and  they  do  not  sit  on  tliem  at  the 
place  where  they  laid  them  but  remove  them  some- 
where else,  lest  their  frequently  resorting  there 
should  cause  somebody  to  suspect  it.  Hen  partridges 
in  fact  deceive  even  their  own  mates,  because  these 
in  the  intemperance  of  their  lust  break  the  hens' 
eggs  so  that  they  may  not  be  kept  away  by  sitting 
on  them ;  and  then  the  cocks  owing  to  their  desire 
for  the  hens  fight  duels  with  each  other;  it  is  said 
that  the  one  who  loses  has  to  accept  the  advances 
of  the  victor.  Trogus  indeed  says  this  also  occurs 
occasionally  with  quails  and  farmyard  cocks,  but 

355 

AA  2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

et  novos  aut  victos  iniri  promiscue.  capiuntur 
quoque  pugnacitate  eiusdem  libidinis,  contra  aucupis 
inlicem  exeunt e  in  proelium  duce  totius  gregis, 
capto  eo  procedit  alter  ac  subinde  singuli.  rursus 
circa  conceptnm  feminae  capiuntur  contra  aucupum 

102  feminam  exeuntes  ut  rixando  abigant  earn,     nee  in 
alio  animali  par  opus  libidinis.    si  contra  mares  ste- 
terint  feminae,  aura'ab  his  flante  praegnantes  mint, 
hiantes  autem  exerta  lingua  per  id  tempus  aestuant. 
concipiunt   et  supervolantium  adflatu,   saepe   voce 
tantum  audita  masculi.     adeoque  vincit  libido  etiam 
fetus  caritatem,  ut  ilia  furtim  et  in  occulto  incubans, 
cum  sensit  feminam  aucupis  accedentem  ad  marem, 
recanat   revocetque   et   ultro   praebeat  se  libidini. 
rabie  quidem  tanta  feruntur  ut  in  capite  aucupantium 

103  saepe   caecae    impetu l  sedeant.     si   ad  nidum   is 
coepit  accedere,  procurrit  ad  pedes  eius  feta,  prae- 
gravem  aut  delumbem  sese  simulans,  subitoque  in 
procursu  aut  brevi  aliquo  volatu  cadit  fracta  ut  ala 
aut  pedibus,  procurrit  iterum  iam  iam  prensurum 
effugiens  spemque  frustrans,  donee  in  diversum  ab- 
ducat  a  nidis.     eadem  in  pavore  libera  ac  materna 

1  Jan  (motu,  initu  <dii;  an  caeco  impetu  ?) :  metu. 

356 


BOOK   X.  LI.  101-103 

that  wild  partridges  are  promiscuously  covered  by 
tame  ones,  and  also  new-comers  or  cocks  that  have 
been  beaten  in  a  fight.  They  are  also  captured 
owing  to  the  fighting  instinct  caused  by  the  same 
lust,  as  the  leader  of  the  whole  flock  sallies  out  to 
battle  against  the  fowler *s  decoy,  and  when  he  has 
been  caught  number  two  advances,  and  so  on  one 
after  another  in  succession.  Again  about  breeding 
time  the  hens  are  caught  when  they  sally  out  against 
the  fowlers'  hen  to  hustle  and  drive  her  away. 
And  in  no  other  creature  is  concupiscence  so  active. 
If  the  hens  stand  facing  the  cocks  they  become 
pregnant  by  the  afflatus  that  passes  out  from  them, 
while  if  they  open  their  beaks  and  put  out  their  tongue 
at  that  time  they  are  sexually  excited.  Even  the 
draught  of  air  from  cocks  flying  over  them,  and 
often  merely  the  sound  of  a  cock  crowing,  makes  them 
conceive.  And  even  their  affection  for  their  brood 
is  so  conquered  by  desire  that  when  a  hen  is  quietly 
sitting  on  her  eggs  in  hiding,  if  she  becomes  aware 
of  a  fowler's  decoy  hen  approaching  her  cock  she 
chirps  him  back  to  her  and  recalls  him  and  voluntarily 
offers  herself  to  his  desire.  Indeed  they  are  subject 
to  such  madness  that  often  with  a  blind  swoop  they 
perch  on  the  fowler's  head.  If  he  starts  to  go  towards 
a  nest,  the  mother  bird  runs  forward  to  his  feet, 
pretending  to  be  tired  or  lame,  and  in  the  middle 
of  a  run  or  a  short  flight  suddenly  falls  as  if  with  a 
broken  wing  or  damaged  feet,  and  then  runs  forward 
again,  continually  escaping  him  just  as  he  is  going  to 
catch  her  and  cheating  his  hope,  until  she  leads  him 
away  in  a  different  direction  from  the  nests.  On 
the  other  hand  if  the  hen  thus  scared  is  free  and 
not  possessed  with  motherly  anxiety  she  lies  on  her 

357 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

vacans  cura  in  sulco  resupina  glaeba  se  terrae  pedibus 
adprehensa  operit. 

Perdicum  vita  et  ad  sedecim  annos  durare  existi- 
matur. 

104  LII.  Ab    iis    columbarum    inaxime     spectantur 
simili  ratione  mores,    inest  x  pudicitia  illis  plurima,2 
et  neutri  nota  adulteria :  coniugii  fidem  non  violant, 
communemque  servant  domum :    nisi  caelebs   aut 
vidua  nidum  non  relinquit.     et  imperiosos  mares, 
subinde  etiam  iniquos  ferunt,  quippe  suspicio  est 
adulterii,   quamvis   natura   non   sit;    tune  plenum 
querelae3    guttur   saevique   rostro    ictus,    mox    in 
satisfactione    exosculatio    et    circa    veneris    preces 

105  crebris  pedum  orbibus  adulatio.     amor  utrique  su- 
bolis  aequalis ;    saepe   et   ex   hac  causa   castigatio 
pigrius    intrante    femina    ad    pullos.    parturient! 
solatia  et  ministeria  ex  mare,     pullis  primo  salsiorem 
terram  collectam  gutture  in  ora  inspuunt  praepa- 
rantes  tempestivitatem  cibo.    proprium  generis  eius 
et  turturum  cum  bibant  colla  non  resupinare,  largeque 
bibere  iumentorum  modo. 

106  Vivere  palumbes  ad  tricensimum  annum,  aliquas 
et    ad    quadragensimum,    habemus    auctores,    uno 
tantum  incommodo  unguium — eodem  et  argumento 
senectae — qui   citra   perniciem   reciduntur.     cantus 
omnibus  similis  atque   idem  trino  conficitur  versu, 


1  Mayhoff :  inde  sed.  2  Mayhojf :  prima. 

3  May1toff(1)i  querela. 


358 


BOOK  X  LI.  103-Lii.  106 

back  in  a  furrow  and  catches  hold  of  a  clod  of  earth 
with  her  claws  and  covers  herself  with  it. 

The  life  of  partridges  is  believed  to  extend  to 
as  much  as  sixteen  years. 

LI  I.  Next  to  partridges  the  habits  of  pigeons 
are  most  noticeable  for  a  similar  reason.  These plffems' 
possess  the  greatest  modesty,  and  adultery  is  un- 
known to  either  sex;  they  do  not  violate  the  faith 
of  wedlock,  and  they  keep  house  in  company — 
unless  unmated  or  widowed  a  pigeon  does  not  leave 
its  nest.  Also  they  say  that  the  cock  pigeon  is 
domineering,  and  occasionally  even  unkind,  as  he 
is  suspicious  of  adultery  although  not  himself  prone 
to  it ;  in  this  state  his  throat  is  full  of  complaining 
and  his  beak  deals  savage  pecks,  and  upon  his  satis- 
faction there  follows  billing  and  fawning  with  repeated 
twirlings  of  his  feet  during  his  entreaties  for  in- 
dulgence. Both  partners  have  equal  affection  for 
their  offspring;  this  also  often  gives  occasion  for 
chastisement,  when  the  hen  is  too  slack  in  coming 
home  to  the  chicks.  When  she  is  producing  a 
brood  she  receives  comfort  and  attendance  from  the 
cock.  For  the  chicks  at  first  they  collect  saltish 
earth  in  their  throat  and  disgorge  it  into  their  beaks, 
to  get  them  into  proper  condition  for  food.  It  is  a 
peculiarity  of  this  species  and  of  the  turtle-dove  not 
to  raise  the  neck  backward  when  drinking,  and 
to  take  copious  draughts  like  cattle. 

We  have  authorities  for  saying  that  wood-pigeons 
live  to  be  thirty  and  in  some  cases  forty  years  old, 
only  with  the  single  inconvenience  of  their  claws — 
this  also  a  sign  of  old  age — which  have  to  be  cut  to 
prevent  damage.  The  cooing  of  all  is  alike  and  the 
same,  composed  of  a  phrase  repeated  three  times  and 

359 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

praeterque  in  clausula  gemitu,  hieme  mutis,  a  vere 
vocalibus.  Nigidius  putat3  cum  ova  incubet  sub 
tecto,  nominatam  palumbem  relinquere  nidos. 

107  pariunt  autem  post  solstitium.    columbae  et  turtures 
octonis    annis    vivunt.     contra    passeri    minimum 
vitae,  cui  salacitas  par :  mares  negantur  anno  diutius 
durare,  argumento  quia  nulla  veris  initio  appareat 
nigritudo  in  rostro,  quae  ab  aestate  incipit ;  feminis 

108  longiusculum  spatium.     verum  columbis  inest  qui- 
dam  et  gloriae  intellectus :  nosse  credas  suos  colores 
varietatemque  dispositam;    quin  etiam    ex  volatu 
quaeritur :  plaudere  in  caelo  varieque  sulcare.     qua 
in    ostentatione    ut    vinctae     praebentur    accipitri, 
inplicatis  strepitu  pennis  qui  non  nisi   ipsis  alarum 
umeris    eliditur,    alioquin    soluto     volatu    multum 
velociores.     speculatur    occultus    fronde    latro    et 

109  gaudentem  in  ipsa  gloria  rapit.     ob  id  cum    his 
habenda'est  avis  quae-tinnungulus  vocatur;  defendit 
enim  illas  terretque  accipitres  naturali  potentia  in 
tantum  ut  visum  vocemque  eius  fugiant.     hac  de 
causa  praecipuus  columbis  amor  eorum,  feruntque, 
si  in   quattuor   angulis   defodiantur  in   ollis   novis 
oblitis,  non  mutare  sedem  columbas  (quod  et  auro 
insectis  alarum  articulis  quaesivere  aliqui,  non  aliter 
360 


BOOK  X.  LII.  106-109 

then  a  sigh  at  the  close ;  in  winter  they  are  silent, 
but  begin  singing  in  spring.  Nigidius  thinks  that  a 
wood-pigeon  when  sitting  on  her  eggs  under  a  roof 
will  leave  her  nest  in  answer  to  her  name.  They 
lay  after  midsummer.  Pigeons  and  turtle-doves  live 
eight  years.  On  the  other  hand  the  sparrow,  their 
equal  in  salaciousness,  has  a  very  small  span  of  life : 
the  cocks  are  said  not  to  last  longer  than  a  year,  the 
proof  being  that  at  the  beginning  of  spring  no  black 
colouring  is  seen  on  their  beak,  which  begins  with 
summer ;  but  the  hens  have  a  rather  longer  span  of 
life.  However  pigeons  actually  possess  a  certain 
sense  of  vanity — you  would  fancy  them  to  be  con- 
scious of  their  own  colours  and  the  pattern  of  their 
marking;  indeed  this  can  be  inferred  from  their 
flight— it  is  observed  that  they  flap  their  wings  in 
the  sky  and  trace  a  variety  of  lines.  During  this  Pigeons  <md 
display  they  expose  themselves  to  the  hawk  as  if  *""**• 
fettered,  folding  their  wings  with  a  flapping  noise 
that  is  only  produced  from  the  actual  wing  joints, 
though  otherwise  when  flying  freely  they  are  much 
swifter.  The  highwayman  hawk  watches  concealed 
in  foliage,  and  seizes  the  exultant  pigeon  in  the 
very  act  of  showing  off.  For  that  reason  the  bird  Pigeons  cmd 
called  kestrel  must  be  classed  with  these;  for  it  * 
defends  the  pigeons,  and  scares  the  hawks  by  its 
natural  powerfulness  so  much  that  they  fly  from  sight 
and  sound  of  it.  For  this  reason  wood-pigeons  have 
a  special  love  for  kestrels,  and  they  say  that  if  kestrels 
put  in  new  jars  with  their  mouths  sealed  up  are 
hidden  in  the  four  corners  of  the  dovecot  the  pigeons 
do  not  change  their  abode  (a  result  that  some 
people  have  also  sought  to  obtain  by  cutting  the  joints 
of  their  wings  with  gold,  the  only  way  of  making  a 

361 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

innoxiis  vulneribus)  multivagam  alioquin  avem.1   est 
enim  ars  illis  inter  se  blandiri  et  corrumpere  alias 

110  furtoque  comitatiores  reverti.     LIII.    quin  et  inter- 
nuntiae   in  magnis  rebus  fuere,  epistulas  adnexas 
earum  pedibus  obsidione  Mutinensi  in  castra  con- 
sulum   Decumo  Bruto   mittente  ;    quid   vallum   et 
vigil  obsidio  atque  etiam  retia  in  amne  praetenta 
profuere  Antionio  per  caelum  eunte  nuntio?     et 
harum  amore  insaniunt  raulti;    super  tecta     exae- 
dificant  turres   his,   nobilitatemque   singularum   et 
origines  narrant,  vetere  iam  exemplo  :    L.   Axius 
eques    Romanus   ante   bellum   civile    Pompeianum 
denariis    cccc    singula    paria    venditavit,    ut     M. 
Varro  tradit.     quin  et  patriam  nobilitavere  in  Cam- 
pania grandissimae  provenire  existimatae. 

111  LIV.  Harum  volatus  in  reputationem  ceterarum 
quoque    volucrum    inpellit.      omnibus     animalibus 
reliquis  certus  et  unius  modi  et  in  suo  cuique  genere 
incessus  est:   aves  solae  vario  meatu  feruntur  et  in 
terra  et  in  aere.     ambulant  aliquae,  ut  cornices  ; 
saliunt    aliae,   ut   passeres,   merulae;     currunt,   ut 
perdices,    rusticulae;     ante    se    pedes    iaciunt,    ut 
ciconiae,  grues.  expandunt  aliae  2  alas  pendentesque 
raro  intervallo  quatiunt,  aliae  crebrius  sed  et  primas 
dumtaxat    pennas,    aliae    tota    latera    plaudunt; 

1  Rackham  :  multivaga  .  .  .  ave. 

2  aliae  add.  Rackham. 


0  By  Mark  Antony  44H&  B,o. 
*  Begun  in_49  B.C. 

362 


BOOK  X.  LIT.  IOQ-LIV.  in 

wound  that  does  no  harm),  although  otherwise 
the  pigeon  is  a  bird  much  given  to  straying.  For 
they  have  a  trick  of  exchanging  blandishments 
and  enticing  other  pigeons  and  coming  back  with  a 
larger  company  won  by  intrigue.  LIIL  Moreover  carrier- 
also  they  have  acted  as  go-betweens  in  important  pf^; 
affairs,  when  at  the  siege  a  of  Modena  Decimus  fancier*. 
Brutus  sent  to  the  consuls'  camp  despatches  tied  to 
their  feet;  what  use  to  Antony  were  his  rampart 
and  watchful  besieging  force,  and  even  the  barriers 
of  nets  that  he  stretched  in  the  river,  when  the 
message  went  by  air?  Also  pigeon-fancying  is 
carried  to  insane  lengths  by  some  people  :  they 
build  towers  on  their  roofs  for  these  birds,  and  tell 
stories  of  the  high  breeding  and  pedigrees  of  par- 
ticular birds,  for  which  there  is  now  an  old  pre- 
cedent: before  Pompey's  civil  war&  Lucius  Axius, 
Knight  of  Rome,  advertised  pigeons  for  sale  at  400 
denarii  per  brace — so  Marcus  Varro  relates.  More- 
over the  largest  birds,  which  are  believed  to  be 
produced  in  Campania,  have  conferred  fame  on 
their  native  place. 

LIV.  The  flight  of  these  birds  prompts  one  to  turn  might  and 
to  the  consideration  of  the  other  birds  as  well.    All  ££j|^ 
the  rest  of  the  animals  have  one  definite  and  uniform  spedes  of 
mode  of  progression  peculiar  to  their  particular  kind, 
but  birds  alone  travel  in  a  variety  of  ways  both,  on 
land  and  in  the  air.    Some  walk,  as  crows;   others 
hop,  as  sparrows  and  blackbirds ;  run,  as  partridges 
and  black  grouse ;  throw  out  their  feet  in  front  of 
them,   as   storks   and  cranes.    Some   spread  their 
wings  and  at  rare  intervals  let  them  droop  and  shake 
them;  others  do  so  more  frequently,  but  also  only 
the  tips  of  the  wings ;  others  flap  the  whole  of  their 

363 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

112  quaedam  vero  maiore  ex  parte  compressis  volant 
percussoque   semel,   aliquae   et  gemino   ictu,   acre 
feruntur ;  velut  inclusum  eum  prementes  eiaculantur 
sese  in  sublime,  in  rectum,  in  promim.     impingi  putes 
aliquas  aut  rursus  ab  alto  cadere  has,  illas  salire. 
anates  solae  quaeque  sunt  eiusdem  generis  in  sublime 
protinus  sese  tollunt  atque  e  vestigio  caelum  petunt, 
et  hoc  etiam  ex   aqua;    itaque  in  foveas   quibus 

113  feras  venamur  delapsae  solae  evadunt.     vultur  et 
fere  graviores  nisi  ex  procursu  aut  altiore  cumulo 
inmissae  non  evolant;    cauda  reguntur.     aliae  cir- 
cumspectant,    aliae    flectunt    colla ;     nee    nullae 1 
vescuntur  ea  quae  rapuere  pedibus.     sine  voce  non 
volant  multae,  aliae  e2  contrario  semper  in  volatu 
silent,     subrectae,  pronae,  obliquae,  in  latera,  in 
ora,  quaedam  et  resupinae  feruntur,  ut,  si  pariter 
cernantur  genera  plura,  non  in  eadem  natura  meare 
videantur. 

114  LV.  Plurimum  volant  quae  apodes  (quia  careant 
usu  pedum),  ab  aliis  cypseli  appellantur  hirundinum 
specie,     nidificant  in  scopulis.    hae  sunt  quae  toto 
marl  cernuntur,  nee  umquam  tarn  longo  naves  tamque 
continue  cursu  recedunt  a  terra  ut  non  circum- 
volitent  eas  apodes.    cetera  genera  residunt  et  insis- 
tunt,  his  quies  nisi  in  nido  nulla:   aut  pendent  aut 
iacent. 

1  vM.  nee  nllae,  nonnullae. 

2  Mueller :  aut  e. 

a  Swifts. 
364 


BOOK  X.  LIV.  ii2-Lv.  114 

sides ;  but  there  are  some  that  fly  with  their  wings 
for  the  greater  part  folded,  and  after  giving  one 
stroke,  or  others  also  a  repeated  stroke,  are  borne  by 
the  air:  by  as  it  were  squeezing  it  tight  between 
their  wings,  they  shoot  upward  or  horizontally  or 
downward.  Some  you  would  think  to  be  flung  for- 
ward, or  again  in  some  cases  to  fall  from  a  height  and 
in  other  cases  to  leap  upward.  Only  ducks  and  birds 
of  the  same  kind  soar  up  straight  away,  and  move 
skyward  from  the  start,  and  this  even  from  water; 
and  consequently  they  alone  when  they  have  fallen 
into  the  pits  that  we  use  for  trapping  wild  animals 
get  out  again.  Vultures  and  the  heavier  birds  in 
general  cannot  fly  upward  except  after  a  run  forward 
or  when  launching  from  a  higher  eminence;  they 
steer  with  their  tail.  Some  birds  turn  their  gaze 
round,  others  bend  their  necks ;  and  some  eat  things 
they  have  snatched  with  their  feet.  Many  do  not 
fly  without  a  cry,  others  on  the  contrary  are  always 
silent  when  in  flight.  They  move  upward,  downward, 
slanting,  sideways,  straight  forward,  and  some  even 
with  the  head  bent  backward;  consequently  if 
several  kinds  are  seen  at  the  same  time,  they  might 
be  thought  not  to  be  travelling  in  the  same 
element. 

LV.  The  greatest  flyers  are  the  species  resembling  Flight  of 
swallows  called  apodes*  (because  they  lack  the  use  ofs 
feet)   and  by  others   *  cypseli.'    They  build  their 
nests  on  crags.    These  are  the  birds  seen  all  over 
the  sea,  and  ships  never  go  away  from  land  on  so 
long  or  so  unbroken  a  course  that  they  do  not  have 
apodes  flying  round  them.    All  the  other  kinds  alight 
and  perch,  but  these- never  rest  except  on  the  nest: 
they  either  hover  or  lie  on  a  surface. 

365 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

115  LVL  Et  ingenia  aeque  varia,  ad  pastum  maxime. 
caprimulgi  appellantur,  grandioris  merulae  aspectu, 
fures  nocturni — interdiu  enim  visu  carent.     intrant 
pastorum   stabula  caprarumque   uberibus   advolant 
suctum  propter  lactis,   qua  iniuria   uber   emoritur 
caprisque  caecitas  quas  ita  mulsere  oboritur.     platea 
nominatur  advolans  ad  eas  quae  se  in  mari  mergunt 
et  capita  illarum  morsu  corripiens,  donee  capturam 
extorqueat.     eadem  cum  devoratis  se  implevit  con- 
chis,  ealore  ventris  coctas  evomit,  atque  ita  ex  iis 
esculent  a  eligit  test  as  excernens. 

116  LVII.  Villaribus  gallinis  et  religio  inest :  inhorres- 
cunt   edito  ovo  excutiuntque  sese   et  circumactae 
purificant  ac  *  festuca  aliqua  sese  et  ova  lustrant. 
minimae    avium   cardueles    imperata   faciunt,   nee 
voce    tantum   sed   pedibus    et    ore    pro    manibus. 
est  quae  bourn  mugitus  imitetur,  in  Arelatensi  agro 
taurus    appellata,    alioquin    parva    est.     equorum 
quoque    hinnitus    anthus    nomine    herbae    pabulo 
adventu  eorum  pulsa  imitatur  ad  hunc  modum  se 
ulciscens. 

117  LVIIL  Super    omnia    humanas    voces    reddunt, 
'  psittaci  quidem  etiam  sermocinantes.     India  hanc 

avem  mittit,  siptacen  vocat,  viridem  toto  corpore, 
torque  tantum  miniato  in  cervice  distinctam.  im- 
peratores2  salutat  et  quae  accipit  verba  pronuntiat, 
in  vino  praecipue  lasciva.  capiti  eius  duritia  eadem 
1  Gelen:  ant.  2  imperatorem  ?  Rackham. 

a  There  is  no  foundation  for  this  story. 
6  This  is  a  mistake.  c  Our  bittern. 

d  Probably  the  yellow  wagtail. 
e  The  ring-necked  parrakeet  is  meant. 
J  A  mistake  for  p&ittacus,  parrot.    „ 

0  Or  possibly,  emenduig  the  text  *  gives  the  salute  to  tl*e 
emperor  ',  says  *  Ave,  Caesar  1 ' 


BOOK  X.  LVL  115-Lviii.  117 

LVL  Birds'  dispositions  also  are  equally  varied,  c 
especially  in  respect  of  food.  Those  called  goat-  the 
suckers,  which  resemble  a  rather  large  blackbird, 
are  night  thieves — for  they  cannot  see  in  the  daytime. 
They  enter  the  shepherds'  stalls  and  fly  to  the  goats' 
udders  in  order  to  suck  their  milk,  which  injures  the 
udder  and  makes  it  perish,  and  the  goats  they  have 
milked  in  this  way  gradually  go  blind.*  There  is  a 
bird  called  the  shoveller-duck  which  flies  up  to  the 
sea-divers  and  seizes  their  heads  in  its  bill  till  it 
wrings  their  catch  from  them.  The  same  bird  after 
filling  itself  by  swallowing  shells  brings  them  up 
again  when  digested  by  the  warmth  of  the  belly  and 
so  picked  out  from  them  the  edible  parts,  discarding 
the  shells. 

LVII.  Farmyard  hens  actually  have  a  religious 
ritual :  after  laying  an  egg  they  begin  to  shiver  and  other  fords. 
shake,  and  purify  themselves  by  circling  round,  and 
make  use  of  a  straw  as  a  ceremonial  rod  to  cleanse 
themselves  and  the  eggs.  The  smallest6  of  birds, the 
goldfinches,  perform  their  Reader's  orders,  not  only 
with  their  song  but  by  using  their  feet  and  beak 
instead  of  hands.  One  bird  in  the  Aries  district, 
called  the  bull-bird c  although  really  it  is  small  in  size, 
imitates  the  bellowing  of  oxen.  Also  the  bird  *  whose 
Greek  name  is  '  flower/  when  driven  away  from 
feeding  on  grass  by  the  arrival  of  horses,  imitates 
their  neighing,  in  this  way  taking  its  revenge. 

LVIII.  Above  all,  birds  imitate  the  human  voice, 
parrots  indeed  actually  talking.  India  sends  us  this 
bird* ;  its  name  in  the  vernacular  is  siptacesf ;  its  whole 
body  is  green,  only  varied  by  a  red  circlet  at  the  neck. 
It  greets  its  masters/  and  repeats  words  given  to  it, 
being  particularly  sportive  over  the  wine.  Its  head 

367 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

quae  rostro ;  hoc,  cum  loqui  discit,  ferreo  verberatur 
radio :  non  sentit  aliter  ictus,  cum  devolat,  rostro 
se  excipit,  illi  innititur  levioremque  ita  se  pedum 
infirmitati  facit. 

118  LIX.  Minor    nobilitas,    quia   non.    ex    longinquo 
venit,  sed  expressior  loquacitas  certo  generi  picarum 
est.     adamant  verba   quae  loquantur   nee   discunt 
tantum1  sed     diligunt,  meditantesque  intra  semet 
cura  atque  cogitatione  2  intentionem  non  occultant. 
constat  emori  victas  difficultate  verbi  ac,  nisi  subinde 
eadem  audiant,  memoria  falli,  quaerentesque  mirum 
in  modum  hilarari  si  interim  audierint  id  verbum. 
nee  vulgaris  3  forma,  quamvis  non  spectanda :    satis 

119  illis  decoris  in  specie  4  sermonis  humani  est.     verum 
addiscere  alias  negant  posse  quam  ex  genere  earum 
quae  glande  vescantur,  et  inter  eas  facilius  quibus 
quini  sint  digiti  in  pedibus,  ac  ne  eas  quidem  ipsas 
nisi   primis    duobus    vitae    annis.     latiores    linguae 
omnibus    in    suo    cuique    genere    quae    sermonem 
imitantur  humanum,  quamquam  id  paene  in  omnibus 

120  contingit  :     Agrippina  .Claudii    Caesaris    turdum 
habuit,  quod  numquam  ante,  imitantem  sermones 
hominum.     cum  haecproderem,  habebant  et  Caesar es 
iuvenes  sturnum,  item  luscinias,  Graeco  ac  Latino 
sermone  dociles,  praeterea  meditantes   assidue   et 
in  diem  5  nova  loquentes,  loquentes,  longiore  etiam 
contextu.     docentur  secreto  et  ubi  nulla  alia  vox 

1  tantum  om.  /plurimi. 

2  v.l.  curam  atque  cogitationem. 

3  Mayhoff  (  ?) :  vulgaris  his. 

4  MayJioff:  spe. 

:  in  diem  et  assidue. 


tf  Britannicus,  Claudius's  son,  and  Nero,  liis  stepson. 


BOOK  X.  LVIII.  ny-Lix.  120 

is  as  hard  as  its  beak ;  and  when  it  is  being  taught  to 
speak  it  is  beaten  on  the  head  with  an  iron  rod — 
otherwise  it  does  not  feel  blows.  When  it  alights 
from  flight  it  lands  on  its  beak,  and  it  leans  on  this 
and  so  reduces  its  weight  for  the  weakness  of  its  feet. 

LIX.  A  certain  kind  of  magpie  is  less  celebrated.  Talking 
because  it  does  not  come  from  a  distance,  but  it  talks  ' 
more  articulately.  These  birds  get  fond  of  uttering 
particular  words,  and  not  only  learn  them  but  love 
them,  and  secretly  ponder  them  with  careful  reflexion, 
not  concealing  their  engrossment.  It  is  an  established 
fact  that  if  the  difficulty  of  a  word  beats  them  this 
causes  their  death,  and  that  their  memory  fails  them 
unless  they  hear  the  same  word  repeatedly,  and 
when  they  are  at  a  loss  for  a  word  they  cheer  up 
wonderfully  if  in  the  meantime  they  hear  it  spoken. 
Their  shape  is  unusual,  though  not  beautiful:  this 
bird  has  enough  distinction  in  its  power  of  imitating 
the  human  voice.  But  they  say  that  none  of  them 
can  go  on  learning  except  ones  of  the  species  that 
feeds  on  acorns,  and  among  these  those  with  five 
claws  on  the  feet  learn  more  easily,  and  not  even 
they  themselves  except  in  the  two  first  years  of  their 
life.  All  the  birds  in  each  kind  that  imitate  human 
speech  have  exceptionally  broad  tongues,  although 
this  occurs  in  almost  all  species ;  Claudius  Caesar's 
consort  Agrippina  had  a  thrush  that  mimicked  what 
people  said,  which  was  unprecedented.  At  the  time 
when  I  was  recording  these  cases,  the  young  princes  a 
had  a  starling  and  also  nightingales  that  were  actually 
trained  to  talk  Greek  and  Lathi,  and  moreover 
practised  diligently  and  spoke  new  phrases  every 
day,  in  still  longer  sentences.  Birds  are  taught  to 
talk  in  private  and  where  no  other  utterance  can 

369 

VOL.  HI.  B  B 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

misceatur,  adsidente  qui  crebro  dicat  ea  quae  con- 
dita  velit  ac  cibis  blandiente. 

121  LX.  Reddatur  et  corvis  sua  gratia,  indignatione 
quoque  populi  Roman!  testata,  non  solum  conscientia. 
Tiberio  principe   ex  fetu  supra   Castorum   aedem 
genito    pullus    in    adpositam    sutrinam    devolavit, 
etiam  religione  commendatus  officinae  domino,     is 
mature  sermoni  adsuefactus,  omnibus  matutinis  evo- 
lans  in  rostra  in  forum  versus  Tiberiurn,  dein  Ger- 
manicum    et    Drusum    Caesares    nominatim,    mox 
transeuntem  populum  Romanum  salutabat,  postea 
ad  tabernam  remeans,  plurium  annorum   adsiduo 

122  omcio    mirus.    hunc    sive    aemulatione    vicinitatis 
manceps  proximae  sutrinae  sive  iracundia  subita,  ut 
voluit  videri,  excrementis  aspersa1  calceis  macula, 
exanimavit  tanta  plebei  consternatione   ut  primo 
pulsus  ex  ea  regione,  mox  et  interemptus  sit,  funusque 
aliti    innumeris    celebratum    exequiis,    constratum 
lectum  super  Aethiopum  duorum  umeros  praecedente 
tibicine  et  coronis  omnium  generum  ad  rogum  usque 
qui  constructus  dextra  viae  Appiae  ad  secundum  lapi- 

123  dem  in  campo  Rediculi  appellate  fuit.    adeo  sati^  iusta 
causa  populo  Romano  visa  est  exequiarum  ingenium 
avis  ac  2  supplicii  de  cive  Romano  in  ea  urbe  in  qua 


1  MayJioff  (?) :  eras  posita. 

2  ac  ?  Mayhoff :  ant. 


0  Here  Hannibal  turned  back  (redtit)  from  marchi 
Rome,  and  there  was  a  chapel  to  Kediculus,  a  deity 
name  commemorated  the  event. 

370 


BOOK  X.  LXIX.  i2O-Lx.  123 

interrupt,  with  the  trainer  sitting  by  them  to  keep 
on  repeating  the  words  he  wants  retained,  and 
coaxing  them  with  morsels  of  food. 

LX.  Let  us  also  repay  due  gratitude  to  the  ravens  A  talking 
the  gratitude  that  is  their  due,  evidenced  also  by  the  raven' 
indignation  and  not  only  by  the  knowledge  of  the 
Roman  nation.  When  Tiberius  was  emperor,  a  young 
raven  from  a  brood  hatched  on  the  top  of  the  Temple 
of  Castor  and  Pollux  flew  down  to  a  cobbler's  shop 
in  the  vicinity,  being  also  commended  to  the  master 
of  the  establishment  by  religion.  It  soon  picked  up 
the  habit  of  talking,  and  every  morning  used  to  fly 
off  to  the  Platform  that  faces  the  forum  and  salute 
Tiberius  and  then  Germanicus  and  Drusus  Caesar 
by  name,  and  next  the  Roman  public  passing  by, 
afterwards  returning  to  the  shop;  and  it  became 
remarkable  by  several  years'  constant  performance 
of  this  function.  This  bird  the  tenant  of  the  next 
cobbler's  shop  killed,  whether  because  of  his  neigh- 
bour's competition  or  in  a  sudden  outburst  of  anger, 
as  he  tried  to  make  out,  because  some  dirt  had  fallen 
on  his  stock  of  shoes  from  its  droppings ;  this  caused 
such  a  disturbance  among  the  public  that  the  man  was 
first  driven  out  of  the  district  and  later  actually  made 
away  with,  and  the  bird's  funeral  was  celebrated  with 
a  vast  crowd  of  followers,  the  draped  bier  being 
carried  on  the  shoulders  of  two  Ethiopians  and  in 
front  of  it  going  in  procession  a  flute-player  and  all 
kinds  of  wreaths  right  to  the  pyre,  which  had  been 
erected  on  the  right  hand  side  of  the  Appian  Road 
at  the  second  milestone  a  on  the  ground  called  Redi- 
culus's  Plain.  So  adequate  a  justification  did  the 
Roman  nation  consider  a  bird's  cleverness  to  be  for  a 
funeral  procession  and  for  the  punishment  of  a  Roman 

37i 

BB2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

multorum  principum  nemo  deduxerat  funus,  Scipionis 
vero  Aemiliani  post  Carthaginem  Numantiamque 
deletas  ab  eo  nemo  vindicaverat  mortem,  hoc 
gestum  M.  Servilio  C.  Cestio  coss.  a.  d.  v  kal. 

124  Apriles.     nunc    quoque    erat   in  urbe  Roma  haec 
prodente  me  equitis  Roman!  cornix  e  Baetica  primum 
colore  mira  admodum  nigro,  dein  plura  contexta 
verba  exprimens  et  alia  atque  alia  crebro  addiscens. 
nee  non  et  recens  fama  Crateri  Monocerotis  cogno- 
mine   in   Erizena   regione   Asiae    corvorum    opera 
venantis  eo  quod  devehebat  in  silvas  eos  insidentes 
corniculo  umerisque ;  illi  vestigabant  agebantque,  eo 
perducta  consuetudine  ut  exeuntem  sic  comitarentur 

125  et   feri.     tradendum  putavere   memoriae    quidam 
visum   per  sitim  lapides  congerentem  in  situlam 
monimenti  in  qua  pluvia  aqua  duraret1  sed  quae 
attingi    non    posset;     ita    descendere    paventem 
expressisse  tali  congerie  quantum  poturo  sufficeret. 

*126  LXL  Nee  Diomedias  praeteribo  aves.  luba  cata- 
ractas  vocat,  et  eis  esse  dentes  oculosque  igneo 
colore,  cetero  candidis,  tradens.  duos  semper  his 
duces,  alterum  ducere  agmen,  alterum  cogere; 

1  Eackham  :  durabat  aut  mutila. 

*  129  B.C.  6  146  B.C.  e  133  B.C. 

d  A  horn-shaped  ornament,  the  reward  of  bravery. 

*  Perhaps  the  gannet. 


BOOK  X.  LX.  123-Lxi.  126 

citizen,  in  the  city  in  which  many  leading  men  had 
had  no  obsequies  at  all,  while  the  death  a  of  Scipio 
Aemilianus  after  he  had  destroyed  Carthage  6  and 
Numantia  c  had  not  been  avenged  by  a  single  person. 
The  date  of  this  was  28  March,  A.D.  36,  in  the  consul- 
ship of  Marcus  Servilius  and  Gaius  Cestius.  At  the 
present  day  also  there  was  in  the  city  of  Rome  at  the  A  talking 
time  when  I  was  publishing  this  book  a  crow  belong-  erott- 
ing  to  a  Knight  of  Rome,  that  came  from  Southern 
Spain,  and  was  remarkable  in  the  first  place  for 
its  very  black  colour  and  then  for  uttering  .sentences 
of  several  words  and  frequently  learning  still  more 
words  in  addition.  Also  there  was  recently  a  report  Ravem 
of  one  Crates  surnamed  Monoceros  in  the  district 
Eriza  in  Asia  hunting  with  the  aid  of  ravens,  to  such 
an  extent  that  he  used  to  carry  them  down  into  the 
forests  perched  on  the  crest a  of  his  helmet  and  on  his 
shoulders ;  the  birds  used  to  track  out  and  drive  the 
game,  the  practice  being  carried  to  such  a  point 
that  even  wild  ravens  followed  him  in  this  way  when 
he  left  the  forest.  Certain  persons  have  thought  it 
worth  recording  that  a  raven  was  seen  during  a 
drought  dropping  stones  into  a  monumental  um  in 
which  some  rain  water  still  remained  but  so  that  the 
bird  was  unable  to  reach  it;  in  this  way  as  it  was 
afraid  to  go  down  into  the  urn,  the  bird  by  piling  up 
stones  in  the  manner  described  raised  the  water  high 
enough  to  supply  itself  with  a  drink. 

LXI.  Nor  will  I  pass  by  the  birds e  of  Diomede. 
Juba  calls  them  Plungers-birds,  also  reporting  that 
they  have  teeth,  and  that  their  eyes  are  of  a  fiery  red 
colour  but  the  rest  of  them  bright  white.  He  states 
that  they  always  have  two  leaders,  one  of  whom  leads 
the  column  and  the  other  brings  up  the  rear;  that 

373 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

scrobes  excavare  rostro,  inde  crate  consternere  et 
operire  terra  quae  ante  fuerit  egesta ;  in  his  fetificare ; 
fores  binas  omnium  scrobibus:  orientem  spectare 
quibus  exeant  in  pascua,  occasum  quibus  redeant; 
alvum  exoneraturas  subvolare  semper  et  contrario 

127  flatu.     uno  hae  in  loco  totius  orbis  visuntur,  in  insula 
quam    diximus    nobilem    Diomedis    tumulo    atque 
delubro,   contra  Apuliae   oram,   fulicarum   similes, 
advenas  barbaros  clangore  infestant,  Graecis  tantum 
adulantur  miro  discrimine,  velut  generi  Diomedis  hoc 
tribuentes,   aedemque    earn   cotidie   pleno   gutture 
madentibus  pennis  perluunt  atque  purificant,  unde 
origo    fabulae    Diomedis    socios   in   earum   effigies 
mutatos. 

128  LXII.  Non    omittendum    est,    cum    de   ingeniis 
disserimus,  e  volucribus  hirundines  indociles  esse,  e 
terrestribus    mures,    cum    elephanti   iussa   faciant, 
leones  iugum  subeant,  in  mari  vituli  totque  piscium 
genera  mitescant. 

129  LXIII.  Bibunt  aves  suctu  ex  iis  quibus  longa  colla 
intermittentes  et  capite  resupinato  velut  infundentes 
sibi.    porphyrio  solus  morsu  bibit,     idem  est  pro- 
prio  genere,  omnem  cibum  aqua  subinde  tinguens, 
deinde   pede   ad   rostrum   veluti   manu   adferens. 
laudatissimi  in  Commagene;  rostra  his  et  praelonga 
crura  rubent. 


•  m  i5i. 

374 


BOOK  X.  LXI.  126-Lxm.  129 

they  hollow  out  trenches  with  their  beaks  and  then 
roof  them  over  with  lattice  and  cover  this  with  the 
earth  that  they  have  previously  dug  from  the  trenches, 
and  in  these  they  hatch  their  eggs ;  that  the  trenches 
of  all  of  them  have  two  doors,  that  by  which  they  go 
out  to  forage  facing  east  and  that  by  which  they 
return  west ;  and  that  when  about  to  relieve  them- 
selves they  always  fly  upwards  and  against  the  wind. 
These  birds  are  commonly  seen  in  only  one  place  in 
the  whole  world,  in  the  island  which  we  spoke  of a 
as  famous  for  the  tomb  and  shrine  of  Diomede,  off 
the  coast  of  Apulia,  and  they  resemble  coots.  Bar- 
barian visitors  they  beset  with  loud  screaming,  and 
they  pay  deference  only  to  Greeks,  a  remarkable 
distinction,  as  if  paying  this  tribute  to  the  race  of 
Diomede ;  and  every  day  they  wash  and  purify  the 
temple  mentioned  by  filling  their  throats  with  water 
and  wetting  their  wings,  which  is  the  source  of  the 
legend  that  the  comrades  of  Diomede  were  trans- 
formed into  the  likeness  of  these  birds. 

LXII.  In  a  discussion  of  mental  faculties  it  must  £ocae  and 
not  be  omitted  that  among  birds  swallows  and  among 
land  animals  mice  are  unteachable,  whereas  elephants 
execute  orders  and  lions  are  yoked  to  chariots,  and 
in  the  sea  seals  and  ever  so  many  kinds  of  fish  can 
be  tamed. 

LXIII.  Birds  of  the  kinds  that  have  long  necks  £***»' 
drink  by  suction,  stopping  now  and  then  and  so  to 
speak  pouring  the  water  into  themselves  by  bending 
their  head  back.  Only  the  porphyrio  drinks  by  beak- 
fuls ;  it  also  eats  in  a  peculiar  way  of  its  own,  con- 
tinually dipping  all  its  food  in  water  and  then  using 
its  foot  as  a  hand  with  which  to  bring  it  to  its  beak. 
The  most  admired  variety  of  sultana-hen  is  in  Com- 
magene ;  this  has  a  red  beak  and  very  long  red  legs. 

375 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

130  LXIV.  Haec  quidem  et  himantopodi  multo  minori, 
quamquam   eadem   crurum  altitudine.     nascitur  in 
Aegypto.     insistit     ternis    digitis.      praecipue     ei 
pabulum  muscae.     vita  in  Italia  paucis  diebus. 

LXV.  Graviores  omnes  et1  fruge  vescuntur,  alti- 
volae  carne  tantum,  inter  aquaticas  mergi,  soliti  avide 
vorare  2  quae  ceterae  reddunt. 

131  LXVI.  Olorum  similitudinem  onocrotali  habent, 
nee  distare  existimarentur  omnino,  nisi  faucibus  ipsis 
inesset  alterius  uteri  genus,    hue  omnia  inexplebile 
animal  congerit,  mira  ut  sit  capacitas.     mox  perfecta 
rapina  sensinx  inde  in  os  reddita  in  veram  alvum 
ruminantis  modo  refert.     Gallia  hos  septentrionali 
proxima  oceano  mittit. 

132  LXVII.  In  Hercynio  Germaniae  saltu  inusitata3 
genera  alitum  accepimus  quarum  plumae  ignium 
modo  conluceant  noctibus;   in  ceteris  nihil  praeter 
nobilitatem  longinquitate  factam  memorandum  oc^ 
currit.    phalerides  in  Seleucia  Parthorum  et  in  Asia 
aquaticarum    laudatissimae,    rursus    phasianae    in 
Colchis — geminas  ex  pluma  aures  submittunt  sub- 
riguntque — ,  Numidicae  in  parte  Africae  Numidia, 
onmes  quae  4  iam  in  Italia. 

133  LXVIII.  Phoenicopteri  linguam  praecipui  saporis 
esse    Apicius   docuit   nepotum   omnium   altissimus 
gurges.     attagen  maxime  lonius  celeb er  et  vocalis 

1  et  add.  9  Mayhoff. 

2  Mayhoff :  solida  ut  devorare. 

3  v.l.  invisitata  (cf.  §  84). 

4  Mayhoff  (vel  omnes) :  omnesque. 


0  The  Black  Forest  and  the  Hartz. 

6  The  guinea-fowl,  above  called  mdeagrides. 

376 


BOOK  X.  LXIV.  130-Lxviii.  133 

LXIV.  The  long-legged  plover  has  the  same,  a  The 
much  smaller  bird  although  with  equally  long  legs.  him 
It  is  born  in  Egypt.    It  stands  on  three  toes  of  each 
foot.    Its  food  consists  chiefly  of  flies.    When  brought 
to  Italy  it  lives  only  for  a  few  days. 

LXV.  All  the  heavier  birds  feed  also  on  grain,  but  FUsh-diet 
the  scaring  species  on  flesh  only,  and  so  among  °fbirdi- 
aquatic  birds  the  cormorants,  who  regularly  devour 
what  the  rest  disgorge. 

LXVI.  Pelicans  have  a  resemblance  to  swans3  and 
would  be  thought  not  to  differ  from  them  at  all 
were  it  not  that  they  have  a  kind  of  second  stomach 
in  their  actual  throats.  Into  this  the  insatiable 
creature  stows  everything,  so  that  its  capacity  is 
marvellous.  Afterwards  when  it  has  done  plundering 
it  gradually  returns  the  things  from  this  pouch  into 
its  mouth  and  passes  them  into  the  true  stomach  like 
a  ruminant  animal.  These  birds  come  to  us  from  the 
extreme  north  of  Gaul. 

LXVII.  We  have  been  told  of  strange  kinds  of  other 
birds  in  the  Hercynian  Forest  a  of  Germany  whose  J 
feathers  shine  like  fires  at  night-time;  but  in  the 
other  forests  nothing  noteworthy  occurs  beyond  the 
notoriety  caused  by  remoteness.  The  most  cele- 
brated water-bird  in  Parthian  Seleucia  and  in  Asia 
is  the  phalaris-duck,  the  most  celebrated  bird  in 
Colchis  the  pheasant — it  droops  and  raises  its  two 
feathered  ears — and  in  the  Nuniidian  part  of  Africa 
the  Numidic  fowl6 ;  all  of  these  are  now  found  in 
Italy. 

LXVIII.  Apicius,  the  most  gluttonous  gorger  of  RareWrds 
all    spendthrifts,    established   the   view   that   the*' 
flamingo's  tongue  has  a  specially  fine  flavour.    The 
fraiicolin  of  Ionia  is  extremely  famous.    Normally  it  is 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

alias,  captus  vero  obmutescens,  quondam  existimatus 
inter  raras  aves,  iam  et  in  Gallia  Hispaniaque. 
capitur  circa 1  Alpes  etiam,  ubi  et  phalacrocoraees, 
avis  Baliarium  insularum  peculiaris,  sicut  Alpium 
pyrrhocorax  luteo  rostro  niger  et  praecipua  sapore 
lagopus.  pedes  leporino  villo  nomen  hoc  dedere 

134  cetero    candidae,   columbarum   magnitudine.      non 
extra   terram   earn  vesci  facile,   quando   nee    vita 
mansuescit  et  corpus  ocissime  marcescit.      est   et 
alia    nomine    eodem    a    coturnicibus    magnitudine 
tantum   differens,   croceo   tinctu,   cibis    gratissima. 
visam  in  Alpibus  ab  se  peculiarem  Aegypti  et  ibim 
Egnatius  Calvinus  praefectus  earum  prodidit. 

135  LXIX.  Venerunt  in  Italiam  Bedriacensibus  bellis 
civilibus  trans  Padum  et  novae  aves — ita  enim  adhuc 
vocantur — turdorum  specie,  paulum  infra  columbas 
magnitudine,  sapore  gratae.    Baliares  insulae  nobi- 
liorem  etiam  supra  dicto  porphyrionem  mittunt.  ibi  et 
buteo  accipitrum  generis  in  honore  mensarum  est, 
item  vipiones  2 — sic  enim  vocant  minorem  gruem. 

136  LXX.  Pegasos  equino  capite  volucres  et  gryphas  3 
auritos   ac  dira4  aduncitate  rostri  fabulosos  reor, 
illos  in   Scythia,   hos   in   Aethiopia;     equidem   et 
tragopana     de    qua    plures    adfirmant,    maiorem 

1  circa  Mayhoff :  et. 

2  v.lL  viviones,  vibiones. 

3  v.L  grypas. 

4  auritos  ac  dira  ?  Mayhoff :  auritos  aut  aurita. 

a  Cevedale  between  Cremona  and  Verona,  where  in  A.t>.  69 
Otho  was  defeated  by  the  troops  of  Vitellius,  and  a  few  months 
later  these  in  turn  by  those  of  Vespasian* 

&  Probably  the  sand-grouse. 

c  Perhaps  Pliny  has  got  them  the  wrong  way  round — at  all 
events  the  griffin  was  usually  placed  in  Seythia.  But  in  point 
of  fact  the  reference  of  the  pronouns  is  not  quite  certain. 

378 


BOOK  X.  XLVIII,  i33-Lxx.  136 

vocal,  though  when  caught  it  keeps  silent.  It  was 
once  considered  one  of  the  rare  birds,  but  now  it  also 
occurs  in  Gaul  and  Spain.  It  is  even  caught  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  the  Alps,  where  also  cormorants 
occur,  a  bird  specially  belonging  to  the  Balearic 
Islands,  as  the  chough,  black  with  a  yellow  beak, 
and  the  particularly  tasty  willow-grouse  belong 
to  the  Alps.  The  latter  gets  its  name  of  hare-foot ' 
from  its  feet  which  are  tufted  like  a  hare's,  though  the 
rest  of  it  is  bright  white ;  it  is  the  size  of  a  pigeon. 
Outside  that  region  it  is  not  easy  to  keep  it,  as  it 
does  not  grow  tame  in  its  habits  and  very  quickly  loses 
flesh.  There  is  also  another  bird  with  the  same  name 
that  only  differs  from  quails  in  size,  yellow-coloured, 
very  acceptable  for  the  table.  Egnatius  Calvinus, 
Governor  of  the  Alps,  has  stated  that  also  the  ibis, 
which  properly  belongs  to  Egypt3  has  been  seen  by 
him  in  that  region. 

LXIX.  There  also  came  into  Italy  during  the  battles  Birds 
of  the  civil  war  round  Bedriacum  a  north  of  the  Po  J 
the  'new  birds*6 — for  so  they  are  still  called — which 
are  like  thrushes  in  appearance  and  a  little  smaller 
than  pigeons  in  size,  and  which  have  an  agreeable 
flavour.  The  Balearic  Islands  send  the  porphyrio, 
an  even  more  splendid  bird  than  the  one  mentioned 
above.  In  those  islands  the  buzzard  of  the  hawk  family 
is  also  in  repute  for  the  table,  and  the  yipio  as  well — 
that  is  their  name  for  the  smaller  crane. 

LXX.  The  pegasus  bird  with  a  horse's  head  and  Fabuitw 
the  griffin  with  ears  and  a  terrible  hooked  beak— the  ***• 
former  said  to  be  found  in  Scythia  and  the  ktter  in 
Ethiopia* — I  judge  to  be  fabulous ;  and  for  my  own 
part  I  think  the  same  about  the  bearded  eagle d 

*  Qf.  §  II  ».,  §  13. 

379 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

aqxiila,  cornua  in  temporibus  curvata  habentem, 
ferruginei  colons,  tantum  capite  phoeniceo.  nee 
sirenes  impetraverint  fidern,  adfirmet  licet  Dinon 
Clitarchi  celebrati  auctoris  pater  in  India  esse  mul- 
cerique  earum  cantu  quos  gravatos  somno  lacerent. 

137  qui   credat    ista,   et    Melampodi   profecto    auguri 
aures 1  lambendo  dedisse  intellectum  avium  sermonis 
dracones  non  abnuat,  vel  quae  Democritus  tradit 
nominando  aves  quarum  confuso  sanguine  serpens 
gignatur,    quern    quisquis    ederit    intellecturus    sit 
alitum  colloquia,  quaeque  de  una  ave  galerita  priva- 
tim   commemorat,    etiam   sine   his   inmensa    vitae 

138  ambage    circa    auguria.     nominantur    ab    Homero 
scopes,  avium  genus :  neque  harum  satyricos  motus, 
cum  insidientur,  plerisque   memoratos   facile   con- 
ceperim  mente,  neque  ipsae  iam  aves  noscuntur. 
quamobrem  de  confessis  disseruisse  praestiterit. 

139  LXXI.  Gallinas  saginare   Deliaci  coepere,  unde 
pestis  exorta  opimas  aves  et  suopte  corpore  unctas 
devorandi.    hoc  primurn   antiquis    cenarum    inter- 
dictis  exceptum  invenio  iam  lege  Gai  Fanni  consulis 
undecim  annis  ante  tertium  Funicum  bellum,  ne 
quid  volucrum  poneretur  praeter  unam  gallinam  quae 
non  esset  altilis,  quod  deinde  caput  translatum  per 

140  omnes  leges  ambulavit.    inventumque  deverticulum 

1  auguri  aures  Detlefsen  :  aures  aut  augures. 


Odyssey  V  66.  6  A  genus  of  owl. 

e  B.C.  161. 


380 


BOOK  X.  LXX.  136-Lxxi.  140 

attested  by  a  number  of  people,  a  bird  larger  than  an 
eagle,  having  curved  horns  on  the  temples,  in  colour 
a  rusty  red,  except  that  its  head  is  purple-red.  Nor 
should  the  sirens  obtain  credit,  although  Dinon  the 
father  of  the  celebrated  authority  Clitarchus  declares 
that  they  exist  in  India  and  that  they  charm  people 
with  their  song  and  then  when  they  are  sunk  in  a  heavy 
sleep  tear  them  in  pieces.  Anybody  who  would  be- 
lieve that  sort  of  thing  would  also  assuredly  not  deny 
that  snakes  by  licking  the  ears  of  the  augur  Melam- 
pus  gave  him  the  power  to  understand  the  language 
of  birds,  or  the  story  handed  down  by  Democritus, 
who  mentions  birds  from  a  mixture  of  whose  blood 
a  snake  is  born,  whoever  eats  which  will  understand 
the  conversations  of  birds,  and  the  things  that  he 
records  about  one  crested  lark  in  particular,  as  even 
without  these  stories  life  is  involved  in  enormous 
uncertainty  with  respect  to  auguries.  Homer a 
mentions  a  kind  of  bird  called  the  scops & ;  many  people  The  dancing 
speak  of  its  comic  dancing  movements  when  it  is scops- 
watching  for  its  prey,  but  I  cannot  easily  grasp  these 
in  my  mind,  nor  are  the  birds  themselves  now  known. 
Consequently  a  discussion  of  admitted  facts  will  be 
more  profitable. 

LXXI.  The  people  of  Delos  began  the  practice  of  Fattening 
fattening  hens,  which  has  given  rise  to  the  pestilential  ^Sy^!9 
fashion  of  gorging  fat  poultry  basted  with  its  own^**^- 
gravy.    I  find  this  first  singled  out  in  the  old  inter- 
dicts dealing  with  feasts  as  early  as  the  law  of  the 
consul  Gaius  Fannius  eleven  years  c  before  the  Third 
Punic  War,  prohibiting  the  serving  of  any  bird  course 
beside  a  single  hen  that  had  not  been  fattened — a 
provision  that  was  subsequently  renewed  and  went 
on  through  all  our  sumptuary  legislation.    And  a 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

est  in  fraudem  earum  gallinaceos  quoque  pascendi 
lacte  madidis  cibis :  multo  ita  gratiores  adprobantur. 
feminae  quidem  ad  saginam  non  omnes  eliguntur, 
nee  nisi  in  cervice  pingui  cute,  postea  culinarum 
artes,  ut  clunes  spectentur,  ut  dividantur  in  tergora, 
ut  a  pede  uno  dilatatae  repositoria  occupent.  dedere 
et  Farthi  cocis  suos  mores,  nee  tamen  in  hoc 
mangonio  quicquam  totum  placet,  dune,  alibi 
pectore  tantrum  laudatis. 

HI  LXXII.  Aviaria  primus  instituit  inclusis  omnium 
generum  avibus  M.  Laenius  Strabo  Brundisi  equestris 
ordinis.  ex  eo  coepimus  carcere  animalia  coercere 
quibus  rerum  natura  caelum  adsignaverat.  maxime 
tamen  insignis  est  in  hac  memoria  Clodii  Aesopi, 
tragici  Mstrionis,  patina  HS  c  taxata,  in  qua  posuit 
aves  cantu  aliquo  aut  humano  sermone  vocales,  HS 

142  vi  singulas  coemptas,  nulla  alia  inductus  suavitate 
nisi  ut  in  iis  imitationem  hominis  manderet,  ne 
quaestus  quidem  suos  reveritus  illos  opimos  et  voce 
meritos,  dignus  prorsus  filio  a  quo  devoratas  diximus 
margaritas,  non  sic  tamen  ut  verum  facere  velim 1 
inter  duos  iudicium  turpitudinis,  nisi2  quod  minus 
est  summas  rerum  naturae  opes  quam  hominum 
linguas  cenasse. 

1  velim  Mueller :  vi.  z  edd. :  si. 

0  IX  122. 
382 


BOOK  X.  LXXI.  140-Lxxn.  142 

way  round  so  as  to  evade  them  was  discovered,  that 
of  feeding  male  chickens  also  with  foodstuffs  soaked 
in  milk,  a  method  that  makes  them  esteemed  as 
much  more  acceptable.  As  for  hens,  they  are  not 
all  chosen  for  fattening,  and  not  unless  they  have 
fat  skin  on  the  neck.  Subsequently  came  elaborate 
methods  of  dressing  fowls,  so  as  to  display  the 
haunches,  so  as  to  split  them  along  the  back,  so  as 
to  make  them  fill  the  dishes  by  spreading  them  out 
from  one  foot.  Even  the  Parthians  bestowed  their 
fashions  on  our  cooks.  And  nevertheless  with  all 
this  showing  off,  no  entire  dish  finds  favour,  only  the 
haunch  or  in  other  cases  the  breast  being  esteemed. 

LXXII.  Aviaries  with  cages  containing  all  kinds  Ca^e-birds 
of  birds  were  first  set  up  by  Marcus  Laenius  Strabo  Caries. 
of  the  Order  of  Knighthood  at  Brindisi.  From  him 
began  our  practice  of  imprisoning  within  bars  living 
creatures  to  which  Nature  had  assigned  the  open  sky. 
Nevertheless  the  most  remarkable  instance  in  this 
record  is  the  dish  belonging  to  the  tragic  actor 
Clodius  Aesop,  rated  at  the  value  of  100,000  sesterces, 
in  which  he  served  birds  that  sang  some  particular 
song  or  talked  with  human  speech,  which  he  acquired 
at  the  price  of  6000  sesterces  apiece,  led  by  no 
other  attraction  except  the  desire  to  indulge  in  a 
sort  of  cannibalism  in  eating  these  birds,  and  not  even 
showing  any  respect  for  that  lavish  fortune  of  his, 
even  though  won  by  his  voice — in  fact  a  worthy  father 
of  a  son  whom  we  have  spoken  of a  as  swallowing 
pearls,  though  not  so  much  so  as  to  make  me  wish  to 
give  a  true  decision  in  the  competition  in  baseness 
between  the  two,  unless  in  so  far  as  it  is  a  smaller 
thing  to  have  dined  on  the  most  bounteous  resources 
of  Nature  than  on  the  tongues  of  men. 

383 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

143  LXXIII.  Generatio  avium  simplex  videtur  esse, 
cum  et  ipsa  habeat  sua  miracula,  quoniam  et  quad- 
ripedes  ova  gignunt,  chamaeleontes,  lacertae  et  quae 
diximus   in   aquatilibus,1   item   serpentes.     penna- 
torum  autem  infecunda  sunt  quae  aduncos  habent 
ungues.  cenchris  sola  ex  his  supra  quaterna  edit  ova. 
tribuit  hoc  avium  generi  natura  ut  fecundiores  essent 
fugaces  earum  quam  fortes ;  plurima  pariunt  strutho- 
cameli,  gallinae,  perdices  soli,    coitus  avibus  duo- 
bus  modis,  femina  considente  humi  ut  in  gallinis 
aut  stante  ut  in  gruibus. 

144  LXXIV.  Ovorum  aHa  sunt  Candida,  ut  columbis, 
perdicibus,  alia  pallida,  ut  aquaticis,  alia  punctis 
distincta,    ut    meleagridum,    alia    rubri   coloris,  ut 
phasianis,    cenchridi.     intus    autem    onme     ovum 
volucrum  bicolor,  aquaticis  lutei  plus   quam  albi, 
idque  ipsum  magis  luridum  quam  ceteris;    piscium 

145  unus   color,  in  quo   nihil  candidi.     avium   ova   ex 
calore  fragilia,  serpentium  ex  frigore  lenta,  piscium 
ex  liquore  mollia.    aquatilium  rotunda,  reliqua  fere 
fastigio    cacuminata.     exeunt    a    rotundissima    sui 
parte,  dum  pariuntur,  molli  putamine  sed  protinus 
durescente    quibuscumque    emergunt    portionibus. 
quae  oblonga  sint  ova  gratioris  saporis  putat  Horatius 
Flaccus.    feminam  edunt  quae  rotundiora  gignun- 

1  in  aq.uatilib-as  add.  Mueller. 


*  IX  37,  78.  6  Sat.  II.  4.  12. 

3*4 


BOOK  X.  LXXIII.  i43-Lxxiv.  145 

LXXIII.  The  reproductive  system  of  birds  appears  Ma*mg  of 
to  be  simple,  although  even  this  possesses  marvels  hrds' 
of  its  own,  since  even  four-footed  creatures  produce 
eggs — chamaeleons  and  lizards  and  those  we  have 
specified a  among  aquatic  species,  and  also  snakes. 
But  among  feathered  creatures  those  that  have  hooked 
talons  are  unfertile.  Of  these  only  the  lesser  kestrel 
produces  more  than  four  eggs  at  a  time.  Nature 
has  bestowed  on  the  bird  kind  the  attribute  that  the 
species  among  them  that  are  shy  are  more  prolific 
than  the  brave  ones ;  only  ostriches,  hens  and  par- 
tridges bear  very  numerous  broods.  Birds  have  two 
methods  of  coupling,  the  hen  sitting  on  the  ground 
as  in  the  case  of  the  domestic  fowl  or  standing  up  as 
in  the  case  of  the  crane. 

LXXIV.  The  eggs  are  in  some  cases  white,  as  Colours  and 
with  the  dove  and  partridge,  in  others  pale-coloured,  s^f8  °* 
as  with  waterfowl,  in  others  spotted,  as  those  of  the 
guinea-hen,  in  others  of  a  red  colour,  as  in  the  case  of 
the  pheasant  and  the  lesser  kestrel.  The  inside  of 
every  bird's  egg  is  of  two  colours ;  in  that  of  the 
aquatic  birds  there  is  more  yellow  than  white,  and 
that  yellow  is  brighter  than  with  the  other  species. 
Fishes'  eggs  are  of  one  colour,  which  contains  no 
bright  white.  Birds'  eggs  are  made  easily  breakable 
by  heat,  snakes'  eggs  are  made  flexible  by  cold,  and 
fishes'  eggs  are  softened  by  liquid.  Aquatic  species 
have  round  eggs,  but  almost  all  others  oval-shaped 
ones.  They  are  laid  with  their  roundest  pait  in 
front,  the  shell  of  whatever  portions  they  emerge 
with  being  soft  but  becoming  hard  immediately 
after  the  process.  Long-shaped  eggs  are  thought 
by  Horace*  to  have  a  more  agreeable  flavour.  Eggs 
of  a  rounder  formation  produce  a  hen  chicken  and 

385 

VOL.  III.  C  C 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

tur,  reliqua  marem.    umbilicus  ovis  a  cacumine  inest, 
ceu  gutta  eminens  in  putamine. 

146  Quaedam  omni  tempore  coeunt,  ut  gallinae,  et 
pariunt  praeterquam  duobus  mensibus  hiemis  bruma- 
libus.     ex   his   iuvencae   plura   quam   veteres    sed 
minora,  et 1  in  eodem  fetu  prima  ac  novissima.     est 
autem   tanta   fecunditas    ut    aliquae    et    sexagena 
parient,  aliquae  cotidie,  aliquae  bis  die,  aliquae  in 

147  tantiim  ut  eifetae  moriantur.     Hadrianis  laus  max- 
ima,   columbae  deciens  anno  pariunt,  quaedam  et 
undeciens,  in  Aegypto  vero  etiam  brumali  mense. 
hirundines  et  merulae  et  palumbi  et  turtures  bis  anno 
pariunt,  ceterae  aves  fere  semeL    turdi  in  cacu- 
minibus  arborum  luto  nidificantes  paene  contextim, 
in  secessu  generant.      a  coitu  decem   diebus   ova 
maturescunt  in  utero,  vexatis   autem   gallinae    et 
columbae  pinna  evulsa  aliave  simili  iniuria  diutius. 

148  omnibus   ovis  medio  vitelli  parva  inest  velut  san- 
guinea   gutta,    quod    esse    cor    avium    existimant, 
primum  in  omni  corpore  id  gigni  opinantes :  in  ovo 
certe  gutta  ea  salit  palpitatque.     ipsum  animal  ex 
albo  liquore  ovi  corporatur ;   cibus  eius  in  luteo  est. 
omnibus   initio 2   caput  maius   toto    corpore,   oculi 
compressi  capite  maiores.    increscente  pullo  candor 

149  in  medium  vertitur,  luteum  circumfunditur.     vicen- 
simo  die  si  moveatur  ovum,  iam  viventis  intra  puta- 

1  et  -(minima V  in  ?  Rodham. 

2  initio  ?  ex  Aristotde  MayJioff :  intus. 

a  Near  Venice,  on  the  coast  of  the  sea  named  after  it.    We 
learn  elsewhere  that  the  birds  were  bantams. 

386 


BOOK  X.  LXXIV.  145-149 

the  rest  a  cock.    The  navel  in  eggs  is  at  the  top  end, 
projecting  like  a  speck  in  the  shell. 

Some  birds  mate  in  any  season,  for  instance  sec 

domestic  fowl,  and  lay,  except  in  the  two  midwinter  Mod&cf' 
months.  Of  these  kinds  the  young  hens  lay  more  ^ff^ 
eggs  than  the  old,  but  smaller  ones,  and  in  the  same  Physioiojy 
brood  those  laid  first  and  last  are  the  smallest.  But  °fthee9S- 
they  are  so  fertile  that  some  even  lay  eggs  sixty 
times,  some  lay  daily,  some  twice  daily,  some  so 
much  that  they  die  of  exhaustion,  Adria  a  birds 
are  most  highly  spoken  of,  Pigeons  lay  ten  times 
a  year,  some  even  eleven  times,  while  in  Egypt 
they  even  lay  in  a  midwinter  month.  Swallows  and 
blackbirds  and  woodpigeons  and  turtle-doves  lay  twice 
a  year,  all  other  birds  as  a  rule  only  once.  Thrushes 
build  their  nests  of  mud  in  an  almost  continuous 
mass  on  the  tops  of  trees,  and  breed  in  retirement. 
The  eggs  grow  to  full  size  in  the  uterus  in  ten  days 
from  pairing,  but  in  the  case  of  the  domestic  fowl 
and  the  pigeon,  if  the  hen  is  disturbed  by  having  a 
feather  torn  out  or  by  some  similar  damage,  it  takes 
longer.  In  all  eggs  the  middle  of  the  yolk  contains  a 
small  drop  of  a  sort  of  blood,  which  people  think  is  the 
heart  of  birds,  supposing  that  the  heart  is  the  first 
part  that  is  produced  in  every  body:  in  an  egg 
undoubtedly  this  drop  beats  and  throbs.  The  animal 
itself  is  formed  out  of  the  white  of  the  egg,  but  its 
food  is  in  the  yolk.6  In  all  cases  at  the  beginning 
the  head  is  larger  than  the  whole  body,  and  the  eyes, 
which  are  pressed  together,  are  larger  than  the  head. 
As  the  chick  grows  in  size  the  white  turns  to  the 
middle  and  the  yolk  spreads  round  it.  If  on  the 
twentieth  day  the  egg  be  moved,  the  voice  of  the 

8  Actually  it  is  both  the  yolk  and  tile  white. 

38? 
cc2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

men  vox  auditur.  ab  eodem  tempore  plumescit,  ita 
positus  ut  caput  supra  dextrum  pedem  habeat, 
dextram  vero  alam  supra  caput.  vitellus  paulatim 
deficit,  aves  omnes  in  pedes  nascuntur,  contra 

150  quam   reliqua   animalia.     quaedam  gallinae   omnia 
gemina  ova  pariunt  et  geminos  interdum  excludunt, 
ut  Cornelius  Celsus  auctor  est,  alterum  maiorem; 
aliqui  negant  omnino  geminos  excludi.    plus  vicena 
quina  incubanda  subici  vetant.    parere    a  bruma 
incipiunt ;  optima  fetura  ante  vernum  aequinoctium : 
post    solstitium   nata   non   implent   magnitudinem 
iustam,  tantoque  minus  quanto  serius  provenere. 

151  LXXV.  Ova    incubari    intra    decem    dies    edita 
utilissimum ;  vetera  aut  recentiora  mfecunda.     subici 
impari  numero  debent.    quarto  die  postquam  coepere 
incubari,  si  contra  lumen  cacumine  ovorum  adpre- 
henso  ima 1  manu  pums  et  uniusmodi  perluceat  color, 
sterilia  existimantur  esse  proque  eis  alia  substituenda. 
et  in  aqua  est  experimentum :  inane  fluitat,  itaque 
sidentia,  hoc  est  plena,  subici  volunt.    concuti  vero 
experimento  vetant,  quoniam  non  gignant  confusis 

152  vitalibus  venis.    incubationi   datur   initium   decima 
demum  2  post  novam  lunam,  quia  prius  inchoata  non 
proveniant.    celerius    excluduntur    calidis    diebus; 
ideo  aestate  undevicensimo  educent  fetum,  hieme 
xxv,    si  incubitu  tonuit,  ova  pereunt,  et  accipitris 

1  v.l.  una.       2  decima  demum  add.  e  Columdla  MayJioff. 

0  Romans  called  the  day  after  an  event  secunda  dies  and 
tl^e  day  after  that  t&rtia. 

388 


BOOK  X.  LXXIV.  149-LXXv.  152 

chick  already  alive  is  heard  inside  the  shell.  At  the 
same  time  it  begins  to  grow  feathers,  its  posture 
being  such  that  it  has  its  head  above  its  right  foot 
but  its  right  wing  above  its  head.  The  yolk  gradually 
disappears.  All  birds  are  born  feet  first,  the  opposite 
way  to  the  remaining  animals.  Some  domestic  hens 
lay  all  their  eggs  in  pairs,  and  according  to  Cornelius 
Celsus  occasionally  hatch  twin  chicks,  one  larger 
than  the  other;  though  some  assert  that  twin 
chicks  are  never  hatched  out.  They  lay  down  a 
rule  that  the  hen  should  not  be  required  to  sit  on 
more  than  25  eggs  at  a  time.  Hens  begin  to  lay  at 
midwinter,  and  breed  best  before  the  spring  equinox: 
chickens  born  after  midsummer  do  not  attain  the 
proper  size,  and  the  later  they  are  hatched  the  more 
they  fall  short  of  it. 

LXXV.  It  pays  best  for  eggs  to  be  sat  on  within  Rules  for 
ten  days  of  laying ;  older  or  fresher  ones  are  infertile.  J 
An  odd  number  should  be  put  under  the  hen.  If 
three  days  after  they  began  to  be  sat  on  the  top  of 
the  eggs  held  in  the  tips  of  the  fingers  against  the 
light  shows  a  transparent  colour  of  a  single  hue,  the 
eggs  are  judged  to  be  barren,  and  others  should  be 
substituted  for  them.  They  may  also  be  tested  in 
water :  an  empty  egg  floats,  and  consequently  people 
prefer  eggs  that  sink,  that  is,  are  full,  to  put  under 
the  hens.  But  they  warn  against  their  being  tested 
by  shaking,  on  the  ground  that  if  the  vital  veins  are 
displaced  the  eggs  are  sterile.  The  ninth «  day  after 
a  new  mo6n  is  assigned  for  starting  a  hen's  sitting, 
as  eggs  begun  earlier  do  not  hatch  out.  The  chicks 
are  hatched  more  quickly  when  the  days  are  warm, 
and  consequently  eggs  will  hatch  out  in  18  days  in 
summer  but  24  in  winter.  If  it  thunders  while  the 

389 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

audita  voce  vitiantur;    remedium  contra   tonitrus 
clavus  ferreus  sub  stramine  ovorum  positus  aut  terra 

153  ex    aratro.     quaedam    autem    et    citra    incubitum 
sponte    natura1   gignit,2    ut    in    Aegypti    fimetis. 
scitum  de  quodam  potore  reperitur  Syracusis  tamdiu 
potare  solitum  donee  cooperta  terra  fetum  ederent 
ova. 

154  LXXVI.  Quin  et  ab  homine  perficiuntur.     lulia 
Augusta  prima  sua  iuventa  Ti.  Caesare  ex  Nerone 
gravida,  cum  parere  virilem  sexum  admodum  cuperet, 
hoc  usa  est  puellari  augurio,  ovum  in  sinu  fovendo 
atque,  cum  deponendum  haberet,  nutrici  per  sinum 
tradendo  ne  intermitteretur  tepor;   nee  falso  augu- 
rata  proditur.    nuper  inde  fortassis  inventum  ut  ova 
calido  in  loco  imposita  paleis  igne  modico  foverentur 
homine   versante,  pariterque   et   stato   die  vivus 3 

155  erumperet    fetus,     traditur  quaedam  ars  gallinarii 
cuiusdam  dicentis  quod  ex  quaque  esset.     narrantur 
et  mortua  gallina  mariti  earum  visi  succendentes  in 
vicem  et  reliqua  fetae  more  facientes  abstinentesque 
se  cantu.      super  omnia  est  anatum  ovis   subditis 
atque  exclusis  admiratio  prima  non  plane  agnoscentis 

1  naturae  Men.  2  v.l.  gigmint. 

3  vivus  ?  MayJioff :  milium  aut  ifii-nc. 

a  livia  Drusilla  was  thus  styled  after  her  marriage  with, 
Augustus.  Her  first  husband,  Tiberius  Claudius  Nero,  was 
the  father  of  the  Emperor  Tiberius. 

390 


BOOK  X.  LXXV.  152-Lxxvi.  155 

hen  is  sitting  the  eggs  die,  and  if  she  hears  the  cry 
of  a  hawk  they  go  bad.  A  remedy  against  thunder 
is  an  iron  nail  placed  under  the  straw  in  which  the 
eggs  lie,  or  some  earth  from  the  plough.  In  some 
cases  Nature  hatches  of  her  own  accord  even  without 
the  hen  sitting,  as  on  the  dunghills  of  Egypt.  We 
find  a  clever  story  about  a  certain  toper  at  Syracuse, 
that  he  used  to  go  on  drinking  for  as  long  a  time  as  it 
would  take  for  eggs  covered  with  earth  to  produce  a 
hatch. 

LXXVI.  Moreover  eggs  can  be  hatched  even  by  £irth-controi 
a  human  being.  Julia  Augusta  a  in  her  early  woman-  { 
hood  was  with  child  with  Tiberius  Caesar  by  Nero,  p 
and  being  specially  eager  to  a  bear  a  baby  of  the 
male  sex  she  employed  the  following  method  of 
prognostication  used  by  girls — she  cherished  an  egg 
in  her  bosom  and  when  she  had  to  lay  it  aside  passed 
it  to  a  nurse  under  the  folds  of  their  dresses,  so  that 
the  warmth  might  not  be  interrupted ;  and  it  is  said 
that  her  prognostication  came  true.  It  was  perhaps 
from  this  that  the  method  was  lately  invented  of 
placing  eggs  in  chaff  in  a  warm  place  and  cherishing 
them  with  a  moderate  fire}  with  somebody  to  keep 
turning  them  over,  with  the  result  that  all  the  live 
brood  breaks  the  shell  at  once  on  a  fixed  day.  It  is 
recorded  that  a  certain  poultry-keeper  had  a 
scientific  method  of  telling  which  egg  was  from  which 
hen.  It  is  related  also  that  when  a  hen  has  died  the 
cocks  of  the  farmyard  have  been  seen  taking  on  her 
duties  in  turn  and  generally  behaving  in  the  manner 
of  a  broody  hen,  and  abstaining  from  crowing. 
Above  all  things  is  the  behaviour  of  a  hen  when  ducks' 
eggs  have  been  put  under  her  and  have  hatched  out 
—first  her  surprise  when  she  does  not  quite  recognize 

391 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

fetum,  mox  incerti  singultus  sollicite  convocantis, 
postremo  lamenta  circa  piscinae  stagna  mergentibus 
se  pullis  natura  duce. 

156  LXXVTI.  Gallinarum  generositas  spectatur  crista 
recta,  interim  et  gemina,  pennis  nigris,  ore  rubicundo, 
digitis  inparibus,  aliquando  et  super  quattuor  digitos 
traverse  uno.     ad  rem  divinam  luteo  rostro  pedi- 
busque   purae   non   videntur,    ad   opertanea    sacra 
nigrae.     est  et  pumilionum  genus  non  sterile  in  his, 
quod  non  in  alio  genere  alitum,  sed  quibus  certa  x 
fecunditas  rara  et  incubatio  ovis  noxia. 

LXXVIII.  Inimicissima  autem  omni2  generi  pitu- 
ita,  maximeque  inter  messis  ac  vindemiae  tempus. 

157  medicina  in  fame  et  cubitus  in  fumo,  utique  si  e  lauru 
aut  herba  sabina  fiat,  penna  per  traversas  inserta 
nares  et  per  omnes  dies  mota,  cibus  alium  cum  farre, 
aut  aqua  perfusus  in  qua  maduerit  noctua  aut  cum 
semine  vitis  albae  coctus,  ac  quaedam  alia. 

158  LXXIX.  Columbae  proprio  ritu  osculantur  ante 
coitum.    pariunt  fere  bina  ova,  ita  natura  moderante 
ut  aliis  crebrior  sit  fetus,  aliis  numerosior.    palumbus 
et  turtur  plurimum  terna  nee  plus  quam  bis  vere 
pariunt,  atque  ita  ut,3  si  prior  fetus  corruptus  est,  et 
quamvis    tria   pepererint,    numquam    plus    duobus 
educant;   tertium  quod  inritum  est  urinum  vocant. 

1  v.ll.  contra,  centra.  2  Mayhoff :  omnium. 

3  ut  add.  Dettefsen. 

0  Sacrifices  to  the  Bona  Dea. 
392 


BOOK  X.  LXXVI.  i55~Lxxix.  158 

her  brood,  then  her  puzzled  sobs  as  she  anxiously 
calls  them  to  her,  and  finally  her  lamentations  round 
the  margin  of  the  pond  when  the  chicks  under  the 
guidance  of  instinct  take  to  the  water. 

LXXVII.  Marks  of  good  breeding  in  hens  are  an  signs  of 
upstanding  comb,  which  is  occasionally  double, ^1*™ 
black  feathers,  red  beak,  and  uneven  claws,  some- 
times one  lying  actually  across  the  four  others. 
Fowls  with  yellow  beak  and  feet  seem  not  to  be  un- 
blemished for  purposes  of  religion,  and  black  ones 
for  the  mystery  rites. a  Even  the  dwarf  variety  is 
not  sterile  in  the  case  of  the  domestic  fowl,  which  is 
not  the  case  in  any  other  breeds  of  birds,  though 
with  the  dwarf  fowl  reliability  in  laying  is  unusual, 
and  sitting  on  the  eggs  is  harmful  to  the  hen. 

LXXVIII.  But  the  worst  enemy  of  every  kind  is  Poultry 
the  pip,  and  especially  between  the  time  of  harvest disease- 
and  vintage.    The  cure  is  in  hunger,  and  they  must 
lie  in  smoke,  at  all  events  if  it  be  produced  from 
bay-leaves  or  savin,  a  feather  being  inserted  right 
through  the  nostrils  and  shifted  daily;   diet  garlic 
mixed  with  spelt,  either  steeped  in  water  in  which 
an  owl  has  been  dipped  or  else  boiled  with  white 
vine  seed,  and  certain  other  substances. 

LXXIX.  Pigeons  go  through  a  special  ceremony  Mating  of 
of  kissing  before  mating.  They  usually  lay  two  eggs 
at  a  time,  nature  so  regulating  as  to  make  some 
produce  larger  chicks  and  others  more  numerous. 
The  woodpigeon  and  the  turtle-dove  lay  at  most 
three  eggs  at  a  time,  and  never  more  than  twice  in  a 
spring,  and  keeping  a  rule  that,  if  the  former  lay  goes 
bad,  even  although  they  lay  three  eggs  they  never 
rear  more  than  two  chicks ;  the  third  egg,  which  is 
unfertile,  they  call  a  wind-egg.  The  hen  wood- 

393 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

palumbis    incubat    femina    post    meridianam 1    in 

159  matutinum,  cetero  mas.     columbae  marem  semper 
et    feminam    pariunt,    priorem    marem,    postridie 
feminam.    incubant  in  eo  genere  ambo,  interdiu  mas, 
noctu  femina.     excludunt  xx  die,  pariunt  a  coitu  V. 
aestate    quidem    interdum    binis    mensibus    terna 
educunt  paria,  namque  xvin  die  excludunt  statim- 
que  concipiunt;    quare  inter  pullos  saepe  ova  in- 
veniuntur    et    alii   provolant,    alii    erumpunt.     ipsi 

160  deinde  pulli  quinquemenstres  fetificant.     et  ipsae 
autem  inter  se,  si  mas  non  sit,  feminae  aeque  saliunt, 
pariuntque  ova  inrita  ex  quibus  nihil  gignitur,  quae 
hypenemia  Graeci  vocant. 

161  Pavo   a  trimatu  parit.    primo   anno   unum   aut 
alterum  ovum,  sequent!  quaterna  quinave,  eeteris 
duodena,    non    amplius,    intermittens    binos    dies 
ternosve  parit,  et  ter  anno,  si  gallinis  subiciantur 
incubanda.    mares  ea  frangunt  desiderio  incuban- 
tium ;  quapropter  noctu  et  in  latebris  pariunt  aut  in 
excelso  cubantes,  et  nisi  molli  strato  excepta  fran- 
guntur.     mares  singuli  quinis  sufficiunt  coniugibus; 
cum  singulae  aut  binae  fuere,  corrumpitur  salacitate 
fecunditas.    partus  excluditur  diebus  ter  novenis, 
aut  tardius  tricensimo. 

1  Mayhoff? :  meridiana. 
394 


BOOK  X.  LXXIX.  158-161 

pigeon  sits  from  noon  till  the  next  morning  and  the 
cock  the  rest  of  the  time.  Pigeons  always  lay  a 
male  and  a  female  egg,  the  male  first  and  the  female 
a  day  later.  In  this  species  both  birds  sit,  the  cock 
in  the  daytime  and  the  hen  at  night.  They  hatch  in 
about  three  weeks,  and  they  lay  four  days  after 
mating.  In  summer  indeed  they  sometimes  produce 
three  pairs  of  chickens  every  two  months,  for  they 
hatch  on  the  17th a  day  and  breed  immediately; 
consequently  eggs  are  often  found  among  the 
chickens,  and  some  are  beginning  to  fly  just  when 
others  are  breaking  the  egg.  Then  the  chicks  them- 
selves begin  laying  when  five  months  old.  However 
in  the  absence  of  a  cock  hen  birds  actually  mate  with 
one  another  indifferently,  and  produce  unfertile 
eggs  from  which  nothing  is  produced,  which  the 
Greeks  call  wind-eggs. 

The  peahen  begins  to  lay  when  three  months  Mating  of 
old.  In  the  first  year  it  lays  one  egg  or  a  second 
one,  but  in  the  following  year  four  or  five  at  a  time, 
and  in  the  remaining  years  twelve  at  a  time,  but  not 
more,  with  intervals  of  two  or  three  days  between 
the  eggs,  and  three  times  in  the  year,  provided  that 
the  eggs  are  put  under  farmyard  hens  to  sit  on.  The 
male  peacock  breaks  the  eggs,  out  of  desire  for  the 
female  sitting  on  them;  consequently  the  hen  bird 
lays  at  night,  and  in  hiding  or  when  perching  on  a 
high  place — and  unless  the  eggs  are  caught  on  a  bed 
of  straw  they  are  broken.  One  cock  can  serve  five 
hens,  and  when  there  have  been  only  one  or  two 
hens  for  each  cock  their  fertility  is  spoiled  by  its 
salaciousness.  The  chickens  are  hatched  in  27  days 
or  at  latest  on  the  29th. 

0  See  note  °  on  c.  LXXV. 

395 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

162  Anseres  in  aqua  coeunt,  pariunt  vere  aut,  si  bruma 
coiere,  post  solstitium,  XL  prope,  bis  anno  si  priorem 
fetum  gallinae  excludant,  alio  plurima  ova  sedecim, 
paucissima  septem.     si  quis  subripiat,  pariunt  donee 

163  rumpantur.      aliena     non     excludunt.      incubanda 
subici  utilissimum  novem  aut  undecim.     incubant 
ferninae  tantum  tricenis  diebus,  si  vero  tepidiores 
sint,  xxv.    pullis  eorum  urtica  contactu  mortifera, 
nee   minus    aviditas,   mine    satietate    nimia,    nunc 
suamet  vi,  quando  adprehensa  radice  morsu  saepe 
conantes     avellere     ante    colla     sua     abrumpunt. 
contra  urticam  remedium  est  stramento  ab  incubitu 
subdita  radix  earum. 

164  Ardeolarum  tria  genera:   leucon,  asterias,  pellos. 
hi  in  coitu  anguntur :  mares  quidem  cum  vociferatu 
sanguinem  etiam  ex  oculis  profundunt;   nee  minus 

165  aegre    pariunt    gravidae.     aquila    tricenis    diebus 
incubatj  et  fere  maiores  alites,  minores  vicenis,  ut 
milvus  et  accipiter.     milvus  binos  1  fere  parit,  num- 
quam  plus  ternos,  is  qui  aegolios  vocatur  et  quaternos, 
corvus  aliquando  et  quinos ;  incubant  totidem  diebus. 
cornicem    incubantem    mas   pascit.    pica   novenos, 
melancoryphus    supra    xx    parit,    semper    numero 
inpari,  nee  alia  plures :  tanto  fecunditas  maior  parvis. 

1  Gesner :  accipiter.  singulos. 

a  These  are  tlte  egret,  tlie  bittern  (taurus,  §  116)  and  the 
grey  heron. 

*  Perhaps  the  cole-tit  or  marsh-tit;  our  blackcap  lays  few 
eggs. 

396 


BOOK  X.  LXXIX.  162-165 

Geese  mate  in  the  water;  they  lay  in  spring,  QIC  Mating  of 
if  they  mated  in  midwinter,  after  midsummer ;  they  seae' 
lay  nearly  40  eggs,  twice  in  a  year  if  the  hens  turn  the 
first  brood  out  of  the  nest,  otherwise  sixteen  eggs 
at  the  most  and  seven  at  the  fewest.  If  somebody 
removes  the  eggs,  they  go  on  laying  till  they  burst. 
They  do  not  turn  strange  eggs  out  of  the  nest.  It 
pays  best  to  put  nine  or  eleven  eggs  for  them  to  sit 
on.  The  hens  sit  only  30  days  at  a  time,  or  if  the 
days  are  rather  warm,  25.  The  touch  of  a  nettle 
is  fatal  to  goslings,  and  not  less  so  is  their  greediness, 
sometimes  owing  to  their  excessive  gorging  and 
sometimes  owing  to  their  own  violence,  when  they 
have  caught  hold  of  a  root  in  their  beak  and  in  their 
repeated  attempts  to  tear  it  off  break  their  own  necks 
before  they  succeed.  A  nettle-root  put  under  their 
straw  after  they  have  lain  in  it  is  a  cure  for  nettle- 
sting* 

There  are  three  kinds  of  heron,  the  white,  the  Mating  of 
speckled  and  the  dark.a  These  birds  suffer  pain ^fa'm&s 
in  mating,  indeed  the  cocks  give  loud  screams  and 
even  shed  blood  from  their  eyes ;  and  the  broody 
hens  lay  their  eggs  with  equal  difficulty.  The  eagle 
sits  on  her  eggs  for  thirty  days  at  a  time,  and  so  do 
the  larger  birds  for  the  most  part,  but  the  smaller 
ones,  for  instance  the  kite  and  hawk,  sit  for  twenty 
days.  A  kite's  brood  usually  numbers  two  chicks, 
never  more  than  three,  that  of  the  bird  called  the 
merlin  as  many  as  four,  and  the  raven's  occasionally 
even  five ;  they  sit  for  the  same  number  of  days. 
The  hen  crow  is  fed  by  the  cock  while  sitting.  The 
magpie's  brood  numbers  nine,  the  blackcap's 6  over 
twenty  and  always  an  odd  number,  and  no  other 
bird  has  a  larger  brood:  so  much  more  prolific  are 

397 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

hirundini  caeci  primo  pulli  sunt  et    fere  omnibus 
quibus  numerosior  fetus. 

166  LXXX.  Inrita  ova,  quae  hypenemia  diximus,  aut 
mutua    feminae    inter    se    libidinis    imaginatione 
concipiunt  aut  pulvere,  nee  columbae  tantum,  sed  et 
gallinae,  perdices,  pavones,  anseres,  chenalopeces. 
sunt   autem  sterilia,  et  minora  ac  minus  iucundi 
saporis  et  magis  umida.    quidam  et  vento  putant  ea 
generari,  qua  de  causa  etiam  zephyria  appellantur ; 
urina  autem  vere  tantum  faint  incubatione  derelicta, 

167  quae  alii  cynosura  dixere.    ova  aceto  macerata  in 
tantum  emolHuntur  ut  per  anulos  transeant.     servari 
ea  in  lomento  aut  hieme  in  paleis}  aestate  furfuribus 
utilissimum ;  sale  exinaniri  creduntur. 

168  LXXXI.  Volucrum      animal      parit      vespertilio 
tantum,  cui  et  membranae  ceu  pennae ;   eadem  sola 
volucrum  lacte  nutrit  ubera  admovens.    parit1  gemi- 
nos;    volitat   amplexa   infantes   secumque   portat. 
eidem  coxendix  una  traditur  esse.2   in  cibatu  culices 
gratissimi. 

169  LXXXII.  Rursus    in    terrestribus    ova    pariunt 
serpentes,  de  quibus  nondum  dictum  est.     coeunt 
complexu,   adeo   circumvolutae   sibi  ipsae   ut   una 


Mueller :  parens.  2  Mayhoff :  traditur  et. 

0  See  §  160. 


398 


BOOK  X.  LXXIX.  i65~LXxxii.  169 

the  small  species.  A  swallow's  first  chicks  are  blind, 
as  are  those  of  almost  all  species  that  have  a  com- 
paratively large  brood. 

LXXX.  Unfertile  eggs,  which  we  have  designated  a  Wind-eggs. 
wind-eggs,  are  conceived  by  the  hen  birds  mating 
together  in  a  pretence  of  sexual  intercourse,  or  else 
from  dust,  and  not  only  by  hen  pigeons  but  also  by 
farmyard  hens,  partridges,  peahens,  geese  and  ducks. 
But  these  eggs  are  sterile,  and  of  smaller  size  and 
less  agreeable  flavour,  and  more  watery.  Some 
people  think  they  are  actually  generated  by  the 
wind,  for  which  reason  they  are  also  called  Zephyr's 
eggs;  but  wind-eggs  are  only  produced  in  spring, 
when  the  hens  have  left  off  sitting :  another  name 
for  them  is  addle-eggs.  When  steeped  in  vinegar 
eggs  become  so  much  softer  that  they  can  be  passed 
through  rings.  It  pays  best  to  keep  them  in  bean 
meal,  or  else  chaff  in  winter  and  bran  in  summer ; 
it  is  believed  that  keeping  them  in  salt  drains  them 
quite  empty. 

LXXXI.  The  only  viviparous  creature  that  flies  The  bat. 
is  the  bat,  which  actually  has  membranes  like  wings ; 
it  is  also  the  only  flyer  that  nourishes  its  young  with 
milk,  bringing  them  to  its  teats.  It  bears  twins, 
and  flits  about  with  its  children  in  its  arms,  carrying 
them  with  it.  The  bat  is  said  to  have  a  single  hip- 
bone. Gnats  are  its  favourite  fodder. 

LXXXII.  On  the  other  hand  among  land  animals,  Mating  of 
the  snake  is  oviparous ;  we  have  not  yet  described  J 
this   species.    Snakes   mate  by  embracing,  inter- 
twining so  closely  that  they  could  be  taken  to  be  a 
single   animal  with  two  heads.    The  male  viper 
inserts  its  head  into  the  female  viper's  mouth,  and 
the  female  is  so  enraptured  with  pleasure  that  she 

399 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

existimari  biceps  possit.     viperae  mas  caput  inserit 

170  in  os,  quod  ilia  abrodit  voluptatis  dulcedihe.     ter- 
restrium  eadem  sola  intra  se  parit  ova  unius  coloris 
et  mollia  ut  pisces.    tertio  die  intra  uterum  catulos 
excludit,  dein  singulis  diebus  singulos  parit,  xx  fere 
numero ;  itaque  ceteri  tarditatis  inpatientes  perrum- 
punt    latera    occisa    parente.      ceterae    serpentes 
contexta  ova  in  terra  incubant,  et  fetum  sequent! 
excludunt  anno,     crocodili  vicibus  incubant,  mas  et 
femina. 

Sed    reliquorum    quoque    terrestrium    reddatur 
generatio. 

171  LXXXIIL  Bipedum  solus   homo   animal   gignit. 
homini  tantum  primi  coitus  paenitentia,  augurium 
scilicet  vitae  a  paenitenda  origine.    ceteris  animali- 
bus  stati  per  tempora  anni  concubitus,  homini,  ut 
dictum    est,    omnibus    horis    dierum    noctiumque. 

172  ceteris  satias  in  coitu,  homini  prope  nulla ;  Messalina 
Claudii  Caesaris  coniunx  regalem  hanc  existimans 
palmam  elegit  in  id  certamen  nobilissimam  e  prosti- 
tutis  ancillam  mercenariae  stipis,  eswaque  nocte  ac 
die   superavit    quinto    atque   vicensimo    concubitu. 
in    hominum  genere  maribus    deverticula    veneris 
excogitata  omnia,  scelera1    naturae,  feminis  vero 
abortus,     quantum  in  hac  parte  multo  nocentiores 
quam  ferae  sumus  I    viros  avidiores  veneris  hieme, 
feminas  aestate  Hesiodus  prodidit. 

1  v.L  acelere. 


fl  AT.  Probl*  IV,  8779,  Ata  ri  at  veot  orav  -jr/xGrov  d 
ap^covrat,  ols  av  ojn-tA^crcocri,  /xera.  rrjp  irpa^iv  Ln-aovcriv. 
b  VII  38. 
c  Works  and  Days  586, 

400 


BOOK  X.  LXXXII.  i69-LXXxin.  172 

gnaws  it  off.  The  viper  is  the  only  land  animal  that 
bears  eggs  inside  it ;  they  are  of  one  colour  and  soft 
like  fishes'  roe.  After  two  days  she  hatches  the 
young  inside  her  uterus,  and  then  bears  them  at  the 
rate  of  one  a  day,  to  the  number  of  about  twenty ;  the 
consequence  is  that  the  remaining  ones  get  so  tired 
of  the  delay  that  they  burst  open  their  mother's 
sides,  so  committing  matricide.  All  the  other  kinds 
of  snakes  incubate  their  eggs  in  a  clutch  on  the 
ground,  and  hatch  out  the  young  in  the  following  year. 
Crocodiles  take  turns  to  incubate,  male  and  female. 

But  let  us  give  an  account  of  the  mode  of  repro- 
duction of  the  remaining  land  animals  as  well. 

LXXXIII.  Man  is  the  only  viviparous  biped. 
Man  is  the  only  animal  with  which  mating  for  the 
first  time  is  followed  by  repugnance/  which  is  doubt- 
less an  augury  of  life  as  sprung  from  regrettable 
source.  All  the  other  animals  have  fixed  seasons  of 
the  year  for  mating,  but  man,  as  has  been  said,&  mates 
at  every  hour  of  the  day  and  night.  All  the  others 
experience  satiety  in  coupling,  but  with  man  this  is 
almost  entirely  absent.  Claudius  Caesar's  consort 
Messalina,  thinking  that  this  would  be  a  truly  regal 
triumph,  selected  for  a  competition  in  it  a  certain 
maid  who  was  the  most  notorious  of  the  professional 
prostitutes,  and  beat  her  in  a  twenty-four  hours7 
match,  with  a  score  of  twenty-five.  In  the  human 
race  the  males  have  devised  every  out-of-the-way 
form  of  sexual  indulgence,  crimes  against  nature, 
but  the  females  have  invented  abortion.  How  much 
more  guilty  are  we  in  this  department  than  the 
wild  animals!  Hesiodc  has  stated  that  men  have 
stronger  sexual  appetites  in  winter  and  women  in 
summer. 

401 
VOL.  in.  D  D 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

173  Coitus  aversis  elephantis,  camelis,  tigribus,  lyncibus, 
rhinoceroti,  leoni,  dasypodi,  cuniculis,  quibus  aversa 
genitalia.    cameli  etiam  solitudines  aut  secreta  certe 
petunt,  neque  intervenire  datur  sine  pernicie ;  coitus 
toto  die,  et  his  tantum  ex  omnibus,     quibus  solida 
ungula    in    quadrupedum    genere,    mares    olfactus 
accendit,  avertuntur  et  canes,  phocae,  lupi  in  medio 1 

174  coitu  invitique  2  etiam  cohaerent.     supra  dictorum 
dasypodum 3    plerumque    feminae    priores     super- 
veniunt,  in  reliquis  mares;   ursi  aut  em,  ut  dictum 
est,  humanitus4  strati,  irenacei  stantes  ambo  inter 
se  complexi,  feles  mare  stante,  femina  subiacente, 
vulpes  in  latera  proiectae  maremque  femina  amplexa. 
taurorum  cervorumque  feminae  vim  non  tolerant ; 
ea  de  causa  ingrediuntur  in  coitu.5    cervi  vicissim  ad 
alias  transeunt  et  ad  priores  redeunt.    lacertae  ut 
ea   quae  sine   pedibus   sunt   circumflexu   venerem 
novere. 

175  Omnia  aninaalia  quo  maiora  corpore  hoc  minus 
fecunda.    singulos  gignunt  elephanti,  cameli,  equi; 
acanthis  duodenos,  avis  minima,     ocissime  pariunt 
quae  plurumos  gignunt ;  quo  maius  est  animal,  tanto 
diutius  formatur  in  utero ;   diutius  gestantur  quibus 
longiora  sunt  vitae  spatia.    neque  crescentium  tem- 

176  pestiva  ad  generandum  aetas.     quae  solidas  habent 

1  Rackham:  medioque. 

2  inviti  Urlichs. 

3  dasypodum  add.  ex  Ar.  Mueller. 

4  humi  secundum  Ar.  Pintianus. 

5  Qelen :  conceptu. 

402 


BOOK  X.  LXXXIII.  173-176 

Species  with  the  genital  organs  behind  them, 
elephants,  camels,  tigers,  lynxes,  the  rhinoceros,  the 
lion,  the  hairy-footed  and  the  common  rabbit  coupling. 
couple  back  to  back.  Camels  even  make  for 
deserts  or  else  places  certain  to  be  secret,  and 
one  is  not  allowed  to  interrupt  them  without  disas- 
ter ;  the  coupling  lasts  a  whole  day,  and  this  is  the 
case  with  these  alone  of  all  animals.  With  the 
solid-hooved  species  in  the  quadruped  class  the 
males  are  excited  by  scenting  the  female.  Also 
dogs,  seals  and  wolves  turn  away  in  the  middle  of 
coupling  and  still  remain  coupled  against  their  will. 
Among  the  above-mentioned  a  species,  of  hares  the 
females  usually  cover  first,  but  with  all  the  others  the 
males;  but  bears,  as  was  said,  couple,  like  human 
beings,  lying  down,  hedgehogs  both  standing  up  and 
embracing  each  other,  cats  with  the  male  standing 
and  the  female  lying  beneath  it,  foxes  lying  down  on 
their  sides  and  the  female  embracing  the  male. 
Cows  and  does  resent  the  violence  of  the  bulls  and 
stags,  and  consequently  walk  forward  in  pairing. 
Stags  pass  across  to  other  hinds  and  return  to  the 
former  ones  alternately.  Lizards  like  the  creatures 
without  feet  practise  intercourse  by  intertwining. 

All  animals  are  less  fertile  the  larger  they  are  in  fertility 
bulk.  Elephants,  camels  and  horses  produce  off-^^y 
spring  one  at  a  time,  but  the  thistle-finch,  the  smallest  *a»  size 
of  birds,  twelve  at  a  time.  Those  that  produce  most  * 
young  bear  them  most  quickly  ;  the  larger  the  animal, 
the  longer  it  takes  to  be  shaped  in  the  womb  ;  the 
more  long-lived  ones  are  carried  longer  by  the 
mother.  Also  animals  are  not  of  an  age  suitable  for 
procreation  while  they  are  still  growing.  Solid- 


403 

DD2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

ungulas  singulos,  quae  bisulcas  et  geminos  pariunt; 
quorum  in  digitos  pedum  fissura  divisa  est,  et l 
numerosiora  in  fetu.  sed  superiora  omnia  perfectos 
edunt  partuSj  haec  inchoatos,  in  quo  sunt  genere 
leaenae,  ursae ;  et  vulpes  informe  etiam  magis  quam 
supradicta  parit,  rarumque  est  videre  parientem. 
postea  lambendo  calefaciunt  fetus  omnia  ea  et 
177  figurant,  pariunt  plurimum  quaternos.  caecos 
autem  gignunt  canes,  lupi,  pantherae,  thoes. 

Canum  plura  genera.  Laconicae  octavo  mense 
utrumque  generant;  ferunt  sexaginta  diebus  et 
plurimum  tribus.  ceterae  canes  et  semenstres 
coitum  patiuntur.  inplentur  omnes  uno  coitu. 
quae  ante  iustum  tempus  concepere  diutius  caecos 
habent  catulos,  et  omnes  totidem  diebus.  existi- 
mantur  in  urina  attollere  crus  fere  semenstres ;  id  est 
signum  consummati  virium  roboris.  feminae  hoc 
178  idem  sidentes.  partus  duodeni  quibus  numerosis- 
simi,  cetero  quini,  seni,  aliquando  singuli,  quod  pro- 
digiosum  putant,  sicut  omnes  mares  aut  omnes 
feminas  gigni.  primos  quosque  mares  pariunt,  in 
ceteris  alternant,  ineuntur  a  partu  sexto  mense. 
octonos  Laconicae  pariunt.  propria  in  eo  genere 
maribus  laboris  alacritas.2  vivunt  Laconici  anni 
denis,  feminae  duodenis,  cetera  genera  xv  aliquando 

1  Mayhoff :  e.  2  edd. :  labore  salacitas. 

404 


BOOK  X.  LXXXIII.  176-178 

hoofed  animals  bear  one  child  at  a  time,  those  with 
cloven  hooves  also  bear  two,  but  those  whose  feet 
are  divided  into  separate  toes  also  produce  a  larger 
number.  But  whereas  all  those  above  bear  their  species  bom 
offspring  fully  formed,  these  produce  them  Un-*mw^uw- 
finished — in  this  class  being  lionesses  and  bears ;  and 
a  fox  bears  its  young  in  an  even  more  unfinished 
state  than  the  species  above-mentioned,  and  it  is 
rare  to  see  one  in  the  act  of  giving  birth.  After- 
wards all  these  species  warm  their  offspring  and  shape 
them  by  licking  them.  Their  litters  number  four  at 
the  most.  Dogs,  wolves,  panthers  and  jackals  bear 
their  young  blind. 

There  are  several  kinds  of  dogs.  The  Spartan  Breeding 
hounds  breed  when  both  sexes  are  seven  months 
old ;  the  bitches  carry  for  60  days,  and  63  at  most. 
The  bitches  of  the  other  breeds  are  willing  to  couple, 
even  when  six  months  old.  They  all  conceive  from 
a  single  coupling.  Those  that  are  bred  from  before 
the  proper  time  have  puppies  that  stay  blind  longer, 
and  all  of  them  for  the  same  number  of  days.  They 
are  believed  to  raise  the  leg  in  making  water  when 
about  six  months  old ;  this  is  a  sign  of  fully  matured 
strength.  Bitches  relieve  themselves  sitting.  The 
most  prolific  have  litters  of  twelve,  but  usually 
they  have  five  or  six,  and  sometimes  only  one :  this 
is  considered  portentous,  as  are  litters  that  are  all 
males  or  all  females.  Male  puppies  are  born  first 
in  each  litter,  whereas  in  all  other  animals  the  sexes 
come  in  turns.  Bitches  couple  five  months  after  their 
last  litter.  The  Spartan  hounds  have  litters  of  eight. 
The  males  of  that  breed  are  marked  by  keenness  for 
work.  Spartan  dog  hounds  live  ten  years,  bitches 
twelve ;  all  the  other  breeds  live  fifteen  years,  some- 

405 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

et  xx3  nee  tota  sua  aetate  generality  fere  a  duodecimo 
desinentes. 

179  Felium  et  ichneumonum  reliqua  ut  canum ;  vivunt 
annis   denis.1   dasypodes    omni   mense   pariunt,   et 
superfetant,  sicut  lepores ;  a  partu  statim  implentur. 
concipiunt   quamvis  ubera  siccante  fetu;    pariunt 
vero 2  caecos.     elephanti,  ut  diximus,  pariunt  sin- 
gulos  magnitudine  vituli  trimenstris.     cameli  duo- 
decim   mensibus    ferunt,    a   trimatu   pariunt    vere 

180  iterumque  post  annum  implentur  a  partu.     equas 
autem  post  tertium  demum  aut  post  unum  ab  enixu 
utiliter  admitti  putant ;  coguntque  invitas.     asinas  3 
et  septimo  4  die  concipere  facillime  creditur.     equa- 
rum  iubas  tondere  praecipiunt  ut  asinorum  coitum 
patiantur  humilitate,  comantes  enim  gloria  superbire. 
a  coitu  solae  animalium  currunt  exadversus  aquilo- 
nem  austrumve  prout  marem  aut  feminam  concepere. 
colorem  ilico  mutant  rubriore  pilo  vel  quicunaque  sit 
pleniore :  hoc  argumento  desinunt  admittere,  etiam 
volentes.5    nee  impedit  partus  quasdam  ab  opere, 
falluntque  gravidae.    vicisse  Olympia  praegnantem 

LSI  Echecratidis  Thessali  invenimus.  equos  et  canes  et 
sues  initum  matutinum  adpetere,  feminas  autem 
post  meridiem  blandiri  diligentiores  tradunt;  equas 

1  Brotier:  senis.  2  Hardouin:  non. 

3  asinas  add.  Pintiamis. 

*  Mueller :  et  mulier  septimo. 

5  v.L  nolentes. 

«  The  MSS.  give  '  six.'  *  VTII  28. 

406 


BOOK  X.  LXXXIII.  178-181 

times  even  twenty.    But  they  do  not  breed  all  their 
lives,  ceasing  usually  at  the  age  of  twelve. 

The  cat  and  the  mongoose  resemble  dogs  in  other  Breeding 
respects,  but  their  length  of  life  is  ten  a  years.  Rab-  Jj^ 
bits  breed  in  every  month  of  the  year,  and  superfetate,  *p«rf«. 
as  do  hares ;  after  giving  birth  they  pah*  again  at  once. 
They  conceive  although  still  suckling  their  previous 
litter,  but  the  young  are  blind.  Elephants,  as  we 
have  said,6  bear  one  young  one  at  a  time,  of  the  size 
of  a  three  months  old  calf.  Camels  carry  their  young 
twelve  months ;  they  begin  breeding  at  the  age  of 
three,  in  the  spring,  and  mate  again  a  year  after  giving 
birth.  Mares  on  the  other  hand  are  believed  not  to  Sone- 
be  profitably  shred  till  three  years  old,  and  not  before  re  ing' 
a  year  after  their  last  foaling;  when  they  are  un- 
willing, compulsion  is  used.  It  is  believed  that  she- 
asses  conceive  quite  easily  even  a  week  after  delivery. 
It  is  said  that  mares'  manes  ought  to  be  clipped  to 
make  them  submit  to  allow  coupling  with  asses,  as 
having  long  manes  makes  them  proud  andhigh-sphited. 
Mares  are  the  only  animals  that  after  coupling  run 
in  a  northerly  or  southerly  direction  according  as  they 
have  conceived  a  male  or  a  female  foal.  Immediately 
afterwards  they  change  the  colour  of  their  coat  for  a 
deeper  red  or  a  darker  hue  of  whatever  their  colour 
is:  this  marks  their  ceasing  to  be  able  to  couple, 
even  if  willing  to  do  so.  Some  are  not  hindered  from 
work  by  foaling,  and  are  in  foal  without  its  being 
known.  We  find  it  on  record  that  a  mare  in  foal 
belonging  to  a  Thessalian  named  Echecratides 
won  a  race  at  Olympia.  It  is  stated  by  excep- 
tionally careful  authorities  that  horses,  dogs  and 
swine  like  mating  in  the  morning,  but  that  the 
females  make  approaches  in  the  afternoon;  that 

407 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

domitas  sexaginta  diebus  equire  ante  quam  "gregales ; 
sues  tantrum  in 1  coitu  spumam  ore  fundere ;  verrem 
subantis  audita  voce,  ni  admittatur,  cibum  non  cap  ere 
usque  in  maciem,  feminas  autem  in  tantum  eiferari 
ut  hominem  lancinent,  Candida  maxime  veste 
indutum.  rabies  ea  aceto  mitigatur  naturae  asperse. 

182  aviditas  coitus  putatur  et  cibis  fieri,  sicut  viro  eruca, 
pecori  caepa.     quae  ex  feris  mitigentur  non  conci- 
pere,  ut  anseres,  apros  vero  tarde  et  cervos  nee  nisi 
ab    infantia    educates     mirum     est.     quadripedum 
praegnantes  venerem  arcent  praeter  equam  et  suem ; 
sed  superfetant  dasypus  et  lepus  tantum. 

183  LXXXIV.  Quaecumque  animal  pariunt  in  capita 
gignunt  circumacto  fetu  sub  enixum  alias  in  utero 
porrecto.     quadripedes  gestantur  extensis  ad  longi- 
tudinem  cruribus  et  ad  alvum  suam  applicatis,  homo 
in  semet  conglobatus  inter  duo  genua  naribus  sitis. 

184  molas,  de  quibus   ante  diximus,  gigni  putant  ubi 
mulier  non  ex  mare  verum  ex  semetipsa  tantum 
conceperit ;  ideo  nee  am'mari  quia  non  sit  ex  duobus3 
altricemque  habere  per  se  vitam  iUam  quae  satis 
arboribusque    contingat.      ex    omnibus    quae   per- 
fectos    fetus    sues   tantum    et    numerosos    edunt, 

1  in  add.  ?  Mayhoff. 


*  The  eye-cavities  in  the  human  face  were  supposed  to  be 
created  by  the  pressure  of  the  knees  in  the  womb 

*  VII 63. 

408 


BOOK  X.  LXXXIII.  i8i-Lxxxiv.  184 

mares  that  have  been  broken  are  in  heat  60  days 
sooner  than  those  running  with  the  herd ;  that  swine 
only  foam  at  the  mouth  when  mating ;  that  when  a 
boar-pig  has  heard  a  sow  in  heat  grunting  it  refuses 
food  to  the  point  of  losing  flesh  entirely  unless  it  is  ad- 
mitted to  her,  while  sows  get  so  fierce  that  they  will 
gore  a  human  being,  especially  one  wearing  white 
clothes.  This  madness  can  be  reduced  by  sprinkling 
the  organs  with  vinegar.  It  is  believed  that  desire 
for  mating  is  also  stimulated  by  articles  of  diet,  for 
instance  rocket  in  the  case  of  a  man  and  onions  in  the 
case  of  cattle.  It  is  a  remarkable  fact  that  wild  species 
when  domesticated  refuse  to  breed,  for  instance  wild 
geese,  and  wild  boars  and  stags  do  so  reluctantly  and 
only  if  they  have  been  reared  from  infancy.  Female 
animals  refuse  intercourse  when  pregnant,  except 
the  mare  and  the  sow ;  but  only  the  common  rabbit 
and  the  hairy-footed  rabbit  allow  superfetation. 

LXXXIV.  All  viviparous  species  produce  their  Posture  of 
young  head  foremost,  the  embryo  turning  round  2* 
shortly  before  delivery,  but  otherwise  lying  stretched 
at  length  in  the  womb.  Four-footed  species  are 
carried  with  the  legs  stretched  out  to  full  length  and 
folded  against  their  own  belly,  but  the  human  embryo 
curled  up  in  a  ball,  with  the  nostrils  placed  between 
the  two  knees. a  It  is  thought  that  moon  calves, 
about  which  we  have  spoken  before,6  are  produced 
when  a  woman  has  conceived  not  from  a  male  but 
from  herself  alone,  and  that  they  do  not  come 
alive  because  they  are  not  produced  from  two  parents, 
and  they  possess  the  self-nourishing  vitality  that 
belongs  to  plants  and  trees.  Of  all  the  species 
bearing  fully  developed  offspring  pigs  alone  have 
litters  that  are  numerous  as  well  as  developed,  for  it 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

nam1    plures2    contra   naturam    solidipedum    aut 
bisulcorum. 

185  LXXXV.  Super  cuncta  est  murium  fetus,  haut  sine 
cunctatione  dicendus,  quamquam  sub  auctore  Aristo- 
tele  et  Alexandri  Magni  militibus.    generatio  eorum 
lambendo    constare,    non    coitu,    dicitur.    ex    una 
genitos   cxx  tradiderunt,  apud  Persas   vero  praeg- 
nantes  in  ventre  parentis  3  repertas ;  et  salis  gustatu 

186  fieri  praegnantes  opinantur.    itaque  desinit  mirum 
esse  unde  vis  tanta  messes  populetur  murium  agres- 
tium;    in  quibus  illud  quoque  adhuc  latet  quonam 
modo   ilia   multitude   repente   occidat:     nam   nee 
exanimes  reperiuntur  neque  extat  qui  murem  hieme 
in  agro  efFoderit.    plurimi  ita  ad  Troada  proveniunt, 
et  iam  inde  fugaverunt  incolas.    proventus  eorum 
siccitatibus.    tradunt  etiam  obituris  vermiculum  in 
capite  gigni.    Aegyptiis  muribus  durus  pilus  sicut 
irenaceis ;  idem  bipedes  ambulant  ceu  Alpini  quoque. 

187  — Cum  diversi  generis  coiere  animaliaj  ita  demum 
generant  si  tempus  nascendi  par  habent. — Quadri- 
pedum  ova  gignentium  lacertas  ore  parere,  ut  credi- 
tur    vulgo,    Aristoteles    negat.     neque    incubant 
eaedem,  obk'tae  quo  sint  in  loco  enixae,  quoniam 
huic  animali  nulla  memoria;    itaque  per  se  catuli 
erumpunt. 

188  LXXXVI.  Anguem   ex  medulla  hominis   spinae 

1  Mayhoff :  item.  2  item  mures  Dettefsen. 

3  Hermolaus  Barbaras :  in  praegnantis  ventre  parientis. 

0  This  sentence  appears  to  be  out  of  place  here. 
410 


BOOK  X.  LXXXIV.  i84-Lxxxvi.  188 

is  against  the  nature  of  those  with  solid  or  cloven 
hoofs  to  produce  several  young. 

LXXXV.  The  most  prolific  of  all  animals  whatever  Fertility  of 
is  the  mouse — one  hesitates  to  state  its  fertility,  even themnLSe- 
though  on  the  authority  of  Aristotle  and  the  troops 
of  Alexander  the  Great.  It  is  stated  that  with  it 
impregnation  takes  place  by  licking  and  not  by 
coupling.  There  is  a  record  of  120  being  born  from 
a  single  mother,  and  in  Persia  of  mice  already  preg- 
nant being  found  in  the  parent's  womb;  and  it  is 
believed  that  they  are  made  pregnant  by  tasting  salt. 
Accordingly  it  ceases  to  be  surprising  how  so  large 
an  army  of  field-mice  ravages  the  crops ;  and  in  the 
case  of  field-mice  it  is  also  hitherto  unknown  exactly 
how  this  vast  multitude  is  suddenly  destroyed: 
for  they  are  never  found  dead,  and  nobody  exists 
who  ever  dug  up  a  mouse  in  a  field  in  winter.  Vast 
numbers  thus  appear  in  the  Troad,  and  they  have 
by  now  banished  the  inhabitants  from  that  country. 
They  appear  during  droughts.  It  is  also  related 
that  when  a  mouse  is  going  to  die  a  worm  grows  in 
its  head.  The  mice  in  Egypt  have  hard  hair  like 
hedgehogs,  and  also  they  walk  on  two  feet,  as  also 
do  the  Alpine  mice. — When  animals  of  a  different  other  faci$ 
kind  pair,  the  union  is  only  fertile  when  the  two  species  f^  breedr 
have  the  same  period  of  gestation^ — There  is  a 
popular  belief  that  of  the  oviparous  quadrupeds  the 
lizard  bears  through  the  mouth,  but  this  is  denied 
by  Aristotle.  Lizards  do  not  hatch  their  eggs,  but 
forget  where  they  laid  them,  as  this  animal  has  no 
memory ;  and  consequently  the  young  ones  break  the 
shell  without  assistance. 

LXXXVI.  We  have  it  from  many  authorities  that  M™®™* 
a  snake  may  be  born  from  the  spinal  marrow  of  a 

411 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

gigni  accepimus  a  nmltis.  pleraque  enim  occulta  et 
caeca  origine  proveniunt,  etiam  in  quadripedum 
genere,  sicut  salamandrae,  animal  lacertae  figura, 
stellatum,  nmnquam  nisi  magnis  imbribus  proveniens 
et  serenitate  deficiens.1  huic  tantus  rigor  ut  ignem 
tactu  restinguat  non  alio  modo  quam  glacies. 
eiusdem  sanie,  quae  lactea  ore  vomitur,  quacumque 
parte  corporis  human!  contacta  toti  defiuunt  pili, 
idque  quod  contactum  est  colorem  in  vitiliginem 
mutat. 

189  LXXXVIL  Quaedam    ergo    gigmmtur    ex    non 
genitis  et  sine  ulla  simili  origine,  ut  supra  dicta  et 
quaecumque  2  ver  statumque  tempus  anni  generat. 
ex  his  quaedam  nihil  gignunt,  ut  salamandrae,  neque 
est  in  his  masculum  femininumve,  sicut  neque  in 
anguillis   omnibusque  quae  nee   animal   nee   ovum 
ex  sese  generant;   neutrum  est  et  ostreis  genus  et 

190  ceteris  adhaerentibus  vado  vel  saxo.     quae   autem 
per  se  generantur,  si  in  mares  et  feminas  discripta 
sunt,  generant  quidem  aliquid  coitu,  sed  inperfectum 
ac  olissimile  et  ex  quo  nihil  amplius  gignatur,  ut 
vermiculos    muscae.     id    magis    declaravit    natura 
eorum  quae  insecta  dicuntur,  arduae  explanationis 
omnia  et  privatim  dicato  opere  narranda.     quaprop- 
ter  ingenium   praedictorum   et  reliqua  subtexetur 
edissertatio. 

191  LXXXVIII.  Ex    sensibus    ante    cetera    homini 
tactus,  dein  gustatus;    reliquis  superatur  a  multis. 

1  v.L  desinens. 

2  v.l.  aestas  ant  ver. 


a  Doubtless  c  molluscs  ',  i.e.  any  shell-fish,  are  meant. 
412 


BOOK  X.  LXXXVI.  i88-LXxxviii.  191 

human  being.  For  a  number  of  animals  spring  from 
some  hidden  and  secret  source,  even  in  the  quadruped 
class,  for  instance  salamanders,  a  creature  shaped 
like  a  lizard,  covered  with  spots,  never  appearing 
except  in  great  rains  and  disappearing  in  fine  weather. 
It  is  so  chilly  that  it  puts  out  fire  by  its  contact,  in 
the  same  way  as  ice  does.  It  vomits  from  its  mouth 
a  milky  slaver,  one  touch  of  which  on  any  part  of  the 
human  body  causes  all  the  hair  to  drop  off,  and  the 
portion  touched  changes  its  colour  and  breaks  out 
in  a  tetter. 

LXXXVII.  Consequently  some  creatures  are  born  other 
from  parents  that  themselves  were  not  born  and  SjrS^Jf* 
were  without  any  similar  origin,  like  the  ones  men-  duction* 
tioned  above  and  all  those  that  are  produced  by  the 
spring  and  a  fixed  season  of  the  year.  Some  of  these 
are  infertile,  for  instance  the  salamander,  and  in 
these  there  is  no  male  or  female,  as  also  there  is  no 
sex  in  eels  and  all  the  species  that  are  neither  vivi- 
parous nor  oviparous;  also  oysters0  and  the  other 
creatures  clinging  to  the  bottom  of  shallow  water  or  to 
rocks  are  neuters.  But  self-generated  creatures  if 
divided  into  males  and  females  do  produce  an  off-spring 
by  coupling,  but  it  is  imperfect  and  unlike  the  parent 
and  not  productive  in  its  turn :  for  instance  flies  pro- 
duce maggots.  This  is  shown  more  clearly  by  the 
nature  of  the  creatures  called  insects,  all  of  which  are 
difficult  to  describe  and  must  be  discussed  in  a  work 
devoted  specially  to  them.  Consequently  the 
psychology  of  the  beforesaid  creatures,  and  the 
remainder  of  the  discussion,  must  be  appended, 

LXXXVIII.  Among  the  senses,  that  of  touch  in  Kemn&i  of 
man  ranks  before  all  the  other  species,  and  taste  ^^^ 
next ;  but  in  the  remaining  senses  he  is  surpassed  *?»«&*. 

4*3 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

aquilae  clarius  cernunt,  vultures  sagacius  odorantur, 
liquidius  audiunt  talpae — obrutae  terra,  tarn  denso 
atque  surdo  naturae  elemento,  praeterea  voce  omni 
in  sublime  tendente,  sermonem  exaudiunt  et,  si  de  iis 
loquare,  intellegere  etiam  dicuntur  et  profugere. 

192  auditus    cui  hominum  primo  negatus  est,  huic  et 
sermonis  usus  ablatus,  nee  sunt  naturaliter  surdi  ut 
non  idem  sint  et  muti.    in  marinis  ostreis  auditum 
esse  non  est  verisimile;   sed  ad  sonum  mergere  se 
dicuntur    solenes ;     ideo    et    silentium    in    more x 

193  piscantibus.     LXXXIX.  pisces  quidem  auditus  nee 
membra  habent   nee   foramina,   audire   tamen   eos 
palam  est,  utpote  cum  plausu  congregari  feros  ad 
cibum  adsuetudine  in  quibusdam  vivariis  spectetur, 
et  in    piscinis   Caesaris   genera   piscium  ad  nomen 
venire,    quosdamve2    singulos.     itaque    produntur 
etiam  clarissime  audire  mugil,  lupus,  salpa,  chromis, 
et  ideo  in  vado  vivere. 

194  XC.  Olfactum  iis  esse  manifeste   patet,   quippe 
non  omnes  cadem  esca  capiuntur   et  prius  quam 
adpetant  odorantur.     quosdam  et  speluncis  latentes 
salsamento  inlitis  faucibus  scopuli  piscator  expellit 
velut  sui  cadaveris  agnitionem  fugientes ;  conveniunt- 
que  ex  alto  etiam  ad  quosdam  odores,  ut  sepiam 
ustam  et  polypum,  quae  ideo  coiciuntur  in  nassas. 
sentinae    quidem   navium   odorem   procul   fugiunt, 


1  v.l.  in  mari. 

2  MayTioff :  quosdam  aut  quosdamque. 


414 


BOOK  X.  LXXXVIII.  IQI-XC.  194 

by  many  other  creatures.  Eagles  have  clearer 
sight,  vultures  a  keener  sense  of  smell,  moles  acuter 
hearing — although  they  are  buried  in  the  earth,  so 
dense  and  deaf  an  element  of  nature,  and  although 
moreover  all  sound  travels  upward,  they  can  overhear 
people  talking,  and  it  is  actually  said  that  if  you 
speak  about  them  they  understand  and  run  away. 
Among  men,  when  one  is  first  of  all  denied  hearing 
he  also  is  robbed  of  the  power  of  talking,  and  there 
are  no  persons  deaf  from  birth  who  are  not  also 
dumb.  The  sea-oyster  probably  has  no  sense  of 
hearing ;  but  it  is  said  that  the  razor-shell  dives  at  a 
sound :  consequently  people  fishing  make  a  practice 
of  silence.  LXXXIX.  Fish  indeed  have  no  auditory  Fishes 
organs  or  passages,  but  nevertheless  it  is  obvious  that  J 
they  hear,  inasmuch  as  it  can  be  observed  that  in  some 
fishponds  wild  fish  have  a  habit  of  flocking  together 
to  be  fed  at  the  sound  of  clapping,  and  in  the 
Emperor's  aquarium  the  various  kinds  of  fish  come 
in  answer  to  their  names,  or  in  some  cases  individual 
fish.  Consequently  it  is  also  stated  that  the  mullet, 
the  wolf-fish,  the  stockfish  and  the  chromis  hear  very 
clearly,  and  therefore  live  in  shallow  water. 

XC.  It  is  clearly  obvious  that  fish  possess  a  sense 
of  smell,  as  they  are  not  all  attracted  by  the  same 
food,  and  they  smell  a  thing  before  they  seize  it. 
Some  fish  even  when  hiding  in  caves  are  driven  out 
by  a  fisherman  who  smears  the  mouth  of  the  crag 
with  brine  used  in  pickling — they  run  away  as  it 
were  from  the  recognition  of  their  own  dead  body  j 
and  they  also  flock  together  from  the  deep  water  to 
certain  smells,  for  instance  a  burnt  cuttle-fish  or 
polyp,  which  are  thrown  into  wicker  creels  for  this 
purpose.  Indeed  the  stench  of  a  ship's  bilge  makes 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

195  maxima  tamen  piscium  sanguinem.    non  potest  ab 
escis 1  avelli  polypus ;  idem  cunila  admota  ab  odore 2 
protinus  resilit.    purpurae  quoque  faetidis  capiuntur. 
nam   de  reliquo   animalium   genere   quis   dubitet? 
cormis  cervini  usti3  odore  serpentes  fugantur,  sed 
maxime   styracis;    origani   aut   calcis   aut   sulpuris 
formicae  necantur.    culices  acida  petunt,  ad  dulcia 
non  advolant. 

Tactus  sensus  omnibus  est,  etiam  quibus  nullus 
alius ;     nam    et    ostreis    et    terrestrium    vermibus 

196  quoque.    XCI.   existimaverim  omnibus   sensum  et 
gustatus  esse ;  cur  enim  alios  alia  sap  ores  adpetant  ? 
in  quo  vel  praecipua  naturae  artificia  4 :  alia  dentibus 
praedantur,    alia   unguibus,    alia   rostri    aduncitate 
carpunt,  alia  latitudine  eruunt,  alia  acumine  exca- 
vant;   alia  sugunt,  alia  lambunt,  sorbent,  mandunt, 
vorant.    nee  minor  varietas  in  pedum  ministerio,  ut 
rapiant,    distrahant,    teneant,   premant,    pendeant, 
tellurem  scabere  non  cessent. 

197  XCIL  Venenis  capreae  et  coturnices,  ut  diximus, 
pinguescunt,  placidissima  animalia,  at  serpentes  ovis, 
spectanda  quidem  draconum  arte:    aut  enim  solida 
hauriunt,  si  iam  fauces  capiuni,  quae  deinde  in  semet 

1  ab  escis  Eaclcham  (escis  ?  Mayhcff) :  petris. 

2  ob  odorem  ?  Mayhoff. 

3  usti  add.  Mayhoff. 

4  artificia  Dettefsen  (varietas  et  lusus  Mayhoff) :  fragmenta 
varia  codd. 

a  The  MSS.  give  *  from  the  rocks/  but  cf.  Ar.  Hist.  An. 
5346  27. 

fr  §69. 
416 


BOOK  X.  xc.  195-xcn.  197 

them  flee  far  away,  but  most  of  all  the  blood  of 
fishes.     The  polyp  cannot  be  dragged  away  from 
the  bait  a ;  but  when  a  sprig  of  marjoram  is  brought 
near  to  it,  it  at  once  darts  away  from  the  scent,  soue  of 
Purple-fish  also  can  be  caught  by  means  of  things  *™£in 
with  a  foul  smell.    As  to  the  rest  of  the  animal  class  species. 
who   could  have   any  doubt?    Snakes   are   driven 
away  by  the  stench  of  burnt  stag's  horn,  but  espe- 
cially by  that  of  styrax-tree  gum;    the  scent  of 
marjoram  or  lime  or  sulphur  kills  ants.     Gnats  seek 
for  sour  things   and  are  not  attracted  by  sweet 
things. 

All  creatures  have  the  sense  of  touch,  even  those  Touch  and 
that  have  none  of  the  others ;  it  is  possessed  even taste- 
by  molluscs,  and  also,  among  land  animals,  by  worms. 
XCI.  I  am  inclined  to  believe  that  all  possess  the 
sense  of  taste  also;  for  why  are  different  species 
attracted  by  different  flavours?  In  the  matter  of 
taste  nature's  handicraft  is  outstanding:  some 
creatures  catch  their  prey  with  their  teeth,  others 
with  their  claws,  others  snatch  their  food  with  the 
curve  of  the  beak,  others  root  it  up  with  the  flat  of 
the  beak,  others  dig  it  out  with  the  point;  some 
suck  it  in,  others  lick  it,  sup  it  up,  chew  it,  gulp  it 
down.  Nor  is  there  less  variety  in  the  service 
rendered  by  their  feet,  in  snatching,  tearing  asunder, 
holding,  squeezing,  hanging,  or  incessantly  scratching 
the  earth. 

XCII.  Wild  goats  and  quails,  the  most  peaceful  Janet™  of 
of  creatures,  grow  fat,  as  we  have  said,  on  poisons,6  mttHiwn- 
but   snakes   batten    on    eggs,    serpents   having   a 
remarkably  skilful  trick — they  either  gulp  the  eggs 
down  whole,  if  their  throats  have  grown  large  enough 
to  hold  them,  and  then  break  them  inside  them  by 

417 

VOL.  III.  E  E 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

convoluti  frangunt  intus  atque  ita  putamina  extus- 
siunt,  ant  si  tenerior  est  catulis  adhue  aetas,  orbe 
adprehensa  spirae  ita  sensim  veliementerque  praes- 
tringunt  ut  amputata  parte  ceu  ferro  e  reliqua  quae 
amplexu  tenetur  sorbeant.  simili  modo  avibus 
devoratis  solidis  contentione  plumam  et  ossa  revo- 
munt. 

198  XCIII.  Scorpiones  terra  vivunt.    serpentes  cum 
occasio  est  vinum  praecipue  adpetunt,  cum  alioqui 
exiguo  indigeant  potu;  eaedem  minimo  et  paene 
nullo  cibo  cum  adservantur  inclusae;    sicuti  aranei 
quoque,  alioqui  suctu  viventes.    ideo  nullum  interit 
fame  aut  siti  venenatum;   nam  neque  calor  iis  nee 
sanguis,  nee  sudor,  qui1  aviditatem  naturali  sale 
auget.2    in  quo  genere  omnia  magis    exitialia    si 

199  suum  genus  edere  antequam  noceant.     condit  in 
thesauros  maxillarum  cibum  sphingiorum  et  satyro- 
rum    genus,    mox    inde    sensim    ad    mandendum 
manibus    expromit — et    quod   formicis   in    annum, 
sollemne  est  his  in  dies  vel  horas.    unum  animal 
digitos  habentium  herba  alitur  lepus ;    ea  3  et  fruge 
solidipedes,  et  e  bisulcis  sues  omni  cibatu  et  radicibus. 
solidipedum  volutatio  propria.    serratorum  dentium 
carnivora  sunt  omnia.    ursi  et  fruge,  fronde,  vinde- 
mia,  pomis  vivunt  et  apibus,  cancris  etiam  ac  formicis. 

200  lupi,  ut  diximus,  et  terra  in  fame,    pecus  potu 

1  Rackham :  quae.  2  EacTcham  :  augent. 

8  ea  Mayhoff :  sed. 


•  vniss. 


BOOK  X.  xcii.  197-xcm.  200 

rolling  themselves  up  in  a  coil,  and  so  cough  out  the 
bits  of  eggshell,  or  if  they  are  young  snakes  as  yet  of 
too  tender  an  age,  they  catch  hold  of  the  eggs  in  the 
ring  of  their  coil  and  squeeze  them  so  gradually  and 
forcibly  that  part  is  cut  off  as  if  with  a  knife  from 
the  remainder  which  is  held  in  their  folds  and  then 
they  suck  it  in.  In  a  like  manner  they  swallow 
birds  whole  and  then  with  a  heave  bring  up  again 
the  feathers  and  the  bones. 

XCIIL  Scorpions  live  on  earth.  Snakes  are 
specially  fond  of  wine  when  they  have  the  chance, 
though  otherwise  they  need  little  drink ;  they 
need  very  little  food,  and  almost  none  at  all  when 
they  are  kept  shut  up ;  just  as  do  spiders  also,  which 
otherwise  live  by  suction.  Consequently  no  venor 
mous  creature  dies  of  hunger  or  thirst;  for  they 
have  neither  heat  nor  blood,  nor  yet  sweat,  which 
increases  appetite  by  its  natural  salt.  All  in  this 
class  are  more  deadly  if  they  have  eaten  their  own 
kind  before  they  attack  somebody.  The  class  of  dog- 
headed  apes  and  ourang-outangs  stores  food  in  the 
recesses  of  the  jaw-bones,  and  then  gradually  takes 
it  out  from  there  with  its  hands  to  chew  it — and 
what  with  ants  is  an  annual  ceremony  is  for  these  a 
daily  or  hourly  practice.  The  only  animal  with  toes 
that  lives  on  grass  is  the  hare ;  solid-hooved  animals 
live  on  grass  and  corn,  and  among  animals  with 
cloven  feet  the  pig  eats  all  kinds  of  fodder  and  also 
roots.  Rolling  on  the  ground  is  peculiar  to  animals 
,with  solid  hooves.  All  species  with  serrated  teeth 
are  carnivorous.  Bears  also  eat  grain,  leaves, 
grapes  and  fruits  and  bees,  and  even  crabs  and 
ants.  Wolves,  as  we  have  said,0  when  hungry 
even  eat  earth.  Cattle  grow  fat  with  drinking, 

419 

EE2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

pinguesclt,  ideo  sal  illis  aptissimus,  item  veterina, 
quamquam  et  fnige  et  herba,  scilicet 1  ut  bibere  sic 
edunt.  ruminant  praeter  iam  dicta  silvestrium 
cervi,  cum  a  nobis  aluntur;  omnia  autem  iacentia 
potius  quam  stantia,  et  hieme  magis  quam  aestate, 
septenis  fere  mensibus.  Pontici  quoque  mures 
simili  modo  remandunt. 

201  XCIV.  In  potu  autem  quibus  serrati  dentes  lam- 
bunt,  et  mures  hi  vulgares,  quamvis  ex  alio  genere 
sint ;  quibus  continui  dentes  sorbent,  ut  equi,  boves ; 
neutrum  ursi,  sed  aquam  quoque  morsu  vorant.    in 
Africa  maior  pars  ferarum  aestate  non  bibunt  inopia 

•  irnbrium,  quam  ob  causam  capti  mures  Libyci  si 
bibere  moriuntur.  orygem  perpetuo  sitientia 
Africae  generant  ex  natura  loci  potu  carentem  et 
mirabili  modo  ad  remedia  sitientium :  namque 
Gaetuli  latrones  eo  durant  auxilio  repertis  in  2  corpore 
corum  saluberrimi  liquoris  vesicis. 

202  Insidunt  in  eadem  Africa  pardi  condensas  arbor es3 
occultatique  carum  ramis  in  practereuntia  desiliunt, 
atque  e  volucrum  sede  grassantur.    feles   quidem 
quo  silentio,  quam  levibus  vestigiis  obrepunt  avibus  ! 
quam    occult  e    speculatae    in    musculos    exiliunt  ! 
excrementa  sua  eflbssa  obruunt  terra  intellegentes 

203  odorem  ilium  indicem  sui  esse.  XCV,  ergo  et  alios 

1  scilicet  Mayhoff :  secL 

2  v.l.  pro  :  aperto  Mayhoff. 

3  Raclcham  (-am  arborem  MayTwff) :  condensa  arbore. 

A  Perixaps  the  ermine  is  meant. 
420 


BOOK  X.  xcm.  200-xcv.  203 

and  consequently  salt  is  specially  suitable  for  them. 
So  also  do  beasts  of  burden,  although  they  also 
fatten  on  corn  and  grass;  in  fact  they  eat  in 
proportion  to  what  they  have  drunk.  Beside  the 
ruminants  already  mentioned,  of  forest  animals  stags 
ruminate  when  they  are  kept  by  us;  but  they  all 
ruminate  lying  down  in  preference  to  standing,  and 
in  winter  more  than  in  summer,  for  a  period  of  about 
seven  months.  The  mice  of  Pontus  a  also  remasticate 
their  food  in  a  similar  manner. 

XCIV.  In  drinking,  animals  with  serrated  teeth  Modes  of 
lap,  and  so  does  our  common  mouse,  though  it dnnkinff- 
really  belongs  to  another  class;  those  with  teeth 
that  touch  suck,  for  instance  horses  and  cattle; 
bears  do  neither,  but  gulp  water  as  well  as  food  in 
bites.  In  Africa  the  greater  part  of  ;the  wild  animals 
do  not  drink  at  all  in  summer,  owing  to  lack  of 
rains  for  which  reason  Libyan  mice  in  captivity 
die  if  given  drink.  The  perpetually  dry  parts  of 
Africa  produce  the  antelope,  which  owing  to  the 
nature  of  the  region  goes  without  drink  in  quite  a 
remarkable  fashion,  for  the  assistance  of  thirsty 
people,  as  the  Gaetulian  brigands  rely  on  their 
help  to  keep  going,  bladders  containing  extremely 
healthy  liquid  being  found  in  their  body. 

In  Africa  also  leopards  crouch  in  the  thick  foliage  Feline 
of  the  trees  and  hidden  by  their  boughs  leap  down  3taiu^ 
on  to  animals  passing  by,  and  stalk  their  prey  from 
the  perches  of  birds.    Then  how  silently  and  with 
what  a  light  tread  do  cats  creep  up  to  birds!   how 
stealthily  they  watch  their  chance  to  leap  out  on 
tiny  mice !    They  scrape  up  the  earth  to  bury  their 
droppings,  realizing  that  the  smell  of  these  gives 
them  away.    XCV.  Consequently  it  is  easily  manifest 

421 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

quosdam  sensus  esse  quam  supra  dictos  haud  diffi- 
culter  apparet. 

Sunt  enim  quaedam  iis  bella  amicitiaeque,  unde 
et  adfectus,  praeter  ilia  quae  de  quibusque  eorum 
suis  diximus  locis.  dissident  olores  et  aquilae; 
corvus  et  chloreus  noctu  invicem  ova  exquirentes; 
simili  modo  corvus  et  milvus,  illo  praeripiente  huic 
cibos  ;  cornices  atque  noctuae,1  aquila  2  et  trochilus 
—  si  credimus,  quoniam  rex  appellatur  avium  ;  noctuae 

204  et  ceterae  minores  ;  aves  rursus  cum  terrestribus  3  — 
mustela  et  cornix,  turtur  et  pyrallis,  ichneumones 
[vespae]  4  et  phalangia  [aranei]  5  aquaticae  brenthos  et 
gavia  et  harpe  et  triorchis  [accipiter]  6  ;   sorices  et 
ardiolae  invicem  fetibus  insidiantes,  aegithus  avis 
minima  cum  asino  —  spinetis  enim  se  scabendi  causa 
atterens  nidos  eius  dissipat,  quod  adeo  pavet  ut  voce 
omnino  rudentis  audita  ova  eiciat,  pulli  ipsi  metu 
cadant  ;  igitur  advolans  ulcera  eius  rostro  excavat  — 

205  volpes  et  milvi,  angues  et  mustelae  et  sues,     aesalon 
vocatur  parva  avis  ova  corvi  frangens,  cuius  pulli 
infestantur  a  vulpibus  ;  invicem  haec  catulos  volpis  7 
ipsamque  vellit;    quod  ubi  viderunt  corvi,  contra 
auxiliantur  velut  adversus  communem  hostem.    et 
acanthis  in  spinis  vivit:   idcirco  asinos  et  ipsa  odit 


noctua. 

2  aquila  ?  Mayhoff  :  aquilae. 

3  rursus  cum  trociiilo  ex  Ar.  Mayhoff, 
*•  5-  6  sed.  Eackham. 

7  volpis  ?  Mayhoff  :  eius. 


the  lien  is  bright  green. 

.e.  the  long-tailed  titmouse,  the  only  one  that  nests  in 
hushes. 

422 


BOOK  X.  xcv.  203-205 

that  there  are  also  certain  senses  other  than  those 
mentioned  above. 

For  animals  have  certain  kinds  of  warfare  and 
friendships ,  and  the  feelings  that  result  from  them, 
besides  the  various  facts  that  we  have  stated  about 
each  species  in  their  places.  There  are  quarrels 
between  swans  and  eagles ;  between  the  raven  and 
the  golden  oriole  a  when  searching  for  one  another *s 
eggs  by  night ;  similarly  between  the  raven  and  the 
kite  when  the  former  snatches  the  latter 's  food 
before  he  can  get  it;  between  crows  and  owls,  the 
eagle  and  the  gold-crest — if  we  can  believe  it,  as  the 
,  eagle  is  called  the  king  of  birds ;  between  owls  and 
the  other  smaller  birds;  again  birds  with  land 
animals — the  weasel  and  the  crow,  the  turtle-dove 
and  the  pyrallis,  ichneumon-flies  and  spiders;  the 
water-birds  brenthos  and  gull  and  goshawk  and 
buzzard;  shrewmice  and  herons  lying  in  wait 
for  each  other's  young;  that  very  tiny  bird  the 
titmouse  &  with  the  ass,  which  by  rubbing  itself 
against  thorns  for  the  sake  of  scratching  dislodges 
the  nests  of  the  titmouse,  which  is  so  scared  that 
when  it  merely  hears  the  sound  of  an  ass  braying 
it  throws  its  eggs  out  of  the  nest,  and  the  chicks 
themselves  in  fear  fall  out,  and  consequently  the 
bird  flies  at  the  ass  and  hollows  out  its  sores 
with  its  beak ;  foxes  and  kites ;  snakes  and  weasels 
and  pigs.  There  is  a  small  tod  called  the  aesalon 
that  breaks  a  raven's  eggs,  whose  chicks  are  preyed 
upon  by  foxes,  and  it  retaliates  by  pecking  the  fox- 
cubs  and  the  vixen  herself;  when  the  ravens  see 
this  they  come  to  their  aid  against  the  aesalon  as 
against  a  common  foe.  Also  the  gold-finch  lives 
in  thorn-bushes  and  consequently  it  also  hates  asses 

423 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

flores  spinae  devorantes ;  aegithum  vero  anthus 1  in 
tantum  ut  sanguinem  eorum  credant  non  coire 
multisque  ob  id  veneficiis  infament,  dissident  thoes 

206  et  leones.    et  minima  aeque  ac  maxima,    formicosam 
arborem  erucae  cavent;    librat  araneus  se  filo  in 
caput  serpentis  porrectae  sub  umbra  arboris  suae 
tantaque  vi  morsu  cerebrum  adprehendit  ut  stridens 
subinde  et  vertigine  rotata  ne  filum  quidem  pendentis 
Tumpere,   adeo   non  fugere   queat,   nee   finis   ante 
mortem  est. 

207  XCVI.  Rursus  amici  pavones  et  columbae,  turtures 
et  psittaci,  merulae  et  turtures,  cornix  et  ardiola2 
contra  vulpium  genus  communibus  inimicitiis,  harpe 
et  milvus  contra  triorchin.     quid,  non  et   affectus 
indicia    sunt    etiam    in    serpentibus,    inmitissimo 
animalium  genere  ?    dicta  sunt  quae  Arcadia  narrat 
de    domino    a    dracone    servato    et    agnito    voce 

208  [draconis].3    de   aspide  miraculum   Phylarcho"  red- 
datur :  is  enim  auctor  est,  cum  ad  mensam  cuiusdam 
veniens   in    Aegypto    aleretur    adsidue,    enixam 4 
catulos,  quorum  ab  uno  filium  hospitis  interemptum ; 
ill  am  reversam  ad  consuetudinem  cibi  intellexisse 
culpam   et  necem  intulisse  catulo,  nee  postea  in 
tectum  id  reversam. 

209  XCVII.  Somni  quaestio  non  obscuram  coniecta- 
tionem  habet.    in  terrestribus  omnia  quae  coniveant 

1  anthus  add.  ex  Ar.  Hermolaus. 

2  Eackham :  ardiolae. 

3  sed.  Mayhojf. 

4  v.l.  enixa. 


« vin  6i. 
424 


BOOK  X.  xcv.  2o'5-xcvn.  209 

that  devour  the  flowers  of  the  thorn ;  but  the  yellow 
wagtail  hates  the  titmouse  so  bitterly  that  people 
believe  that  then*  blood  will  not  mix,  and  conse- 
quently they  give  it  a  bad  name  as  used  for  many 
poisons.  The  thos  and  the  lion  quarrel.  Also  the 
smallest  animals  quarrel  as  much  as  the  largest :  a 
tree  infested  with  ants  is  hollowed  out  by  caterpillars ; 
a  spider  swings  by  a  thread  on  to  the  head  of  a  snake 
stretched  out  beneath  the  shade  of  its  tree,  and  nips 
its  brain  with  its  jaws  so  violently  that  it  at  once 
gives  a  hiss  and  whirls  giddily  round,  but  cannot 
even  break  the  thread  by  which  the  spider  hangs, 
much  less  get  away,  and  there  is  no  end  to  it  before 
its  death. 

XCVI.  On    the    other    hand    friendships    occur  Friendships 
between  peacocks*  and  pigeons,   turtle-doves  andJJJJST; 
parrots,  blackbirds  and  turtle-doves,  the  crow  and^nW  „ 

fi       T  A      i  •  •    •    ,  -      ,    ii       f      snakes  and 

the  little  heron  in  a  joint  enmity  against  the  fox  man. 
kind  and  the  goshawk  and  kite  against  the  buz- 
zard. Why,  are  there  not  signs  of  affection  even 
in  snakes,  the  most  hostile  kind  of  animals  ?  we  have 
mentioned  a  the  story  that  Arcady  tells  about  the 
snake  that  saved  his  master's  life  and  recognized 
him  by  his  voice.  Let  us  place  to*  the  credit  of 
Phylarchus  a  marvellous  tale  about  an  asp:  he 
relates  that  in  Egypt,  when  it  used  to  come  regularly 
to  be  fed  at  someone's  table,  it  was  delivered  of 
young  ones,  and  that  its  hosts 's  son  was  killed  by 
one  of  these ;  and  that  when  the  mother  came  back 
for  its  usual  meal  it  realized  the  young  one's  guilt 
and  killed  it,  and  never  came  back  to  the 'house  again 
afterwards. 

XCVII.  The  question  of  sleep  does  not  involve  *g£/ 
any  obscure  conjecture.    It  is  clear  that  among  land  specie*. 

425 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

dormire  manifestum  est.  aquatilia  quoque  exiguum 
qxiidem  etiam  qui  de  ceteris  dubitant  dormire  tamen 
existimant,  non  oculorum  argumento,  quia  non 
habent  genas,  verum  ipsa  quiete :  cernuntur  placida 
ceu  soporata,  neque  aliud  quam  caudas  moventia,  et 

210  ad   tumultum  aliquem  expavescentia.     de  thynnis 
confidentius  adfirmatur,  iuxta  ripas  enim  aut  petras 
dormiunt;   plani  autem  piscium  in  vado,  ut  manu 
saepe  tollantur.     nam  delphini  ballaenaeque   ster- 
tentes   etiam   audiuntur.     insecta   quoque   dormire 
silentio  apparet,  quae  ne  luminibus  quidem'admotis 
excitentur. 

211  XCVIIL  Homo    genitus    premitur    somno     per 
aliquot  menses,  dein  longior  in  dies  vigilia.    somniat 
statim  infans,  nam  et  pavore  expergiscitur  et  suctum 
imitatur.     quidam   vero   numquam,    quibus   morti- 
ferum  fuisse  signum  contra  consuetudinem  somnium 
invenimus  exempla.    magnus  hie  invitat  locus    et 
diversis   refertus  documentis,  utrumne  sint  aliqua 
praescita  animi  quiescentis,  quaque 1  fiant  ratione, 
an  fortuita  res  sit  ut  pleraque.     si  exemplis  agatur, 
profecto  paria  fiant.    a  vino  et  a  cibis  proxima,  atque 
in  redormitione,  vana  esse  visa  prope  convenit ;  est 
autem  somnus  nihil  aliud  quam  animi  in  medium  sese 

212  recessus.    praeter  hominem  somniare  equos,  canes, 

1  qne  add.  BUlig. 
426 


BOOK  X.  xcvn.  209-xcvm.  212 

animals  all  those  that  close  the  eyes  sleep.  That 
also  water  animals  sleep  at  all  events  a  little  is  held 
even  by  those  who  doubt  about  the  other  kinds; 
they  do  not  infer  this  from  the  eyes,  as  these  creatures 
have  no  eyelids,  but  merely  by  their  quietness :  they 
are  seen  reposing  as  if  sunk  in  slumber,  and  only 
moving  their  tails,  and  waking  up  in  alarm  at  any 
disturbance.  It  is  affirmed  with  more  confidence 
about  tunny-fish,  because  they  sleep  close  to  banks 
or  rocks;  while  flatfish  sleep  in  shallow  water,  so 
that  they  are  often  taken  out  by  hand.  Dolphins 
and  whales,  in  fact,  are  heard  actually  snoring.  That 
insects  also  sleep  is  shown  by  their  silence,  and  by 
their  not  even  being  roused  by  having  lights  brought 
near  them. 

XCVIII.  Man  when  born  is  beset  by  sleep 
some  months,  and  then  day  by  day  his  waking  period  1£}%an3  of 
gets  longer.  An  infant  begins  to  dream  at  once,  for 
it  wakes  up  in  a  fright,  and  also  imitates  sucking. 
But  some  children  never  dream,  and  with  these  we 
find  instances  in  which  their  dreaming  contrary  to 
their  usual  habit  was  a  sign  of  approaching  death. 
Here  an  important  topic  invites  us  and  one  fully 
supplied  with  arguments  on  both  sides — whether 
there  are  certain  cases  of  foreknowledge  present  in 
the  mind  during  repose,  and  what  causes  them,  or 
whether  it  is  a  matter  of  chance  like  most  things. 
If  the  question  be  argued  by  instances,  these  would 
doubtless  be  found  to  be  equal  on  both  sides.  It  is 
practically  agreed  that  dreams  occurring  directly 
after  drinking  wine  and  eating  food,  and  those  that 
come  in  dozing  off  to  sleep  a  second  time,  are  false ; 
but  sleep  is  really  nothing  but  the  retirement  of  the 
mind  into  its  innermost  self.  It  is  manifest  that, 

4*7 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

boves,  pecora,  capras,  palarii  est ;  ob  hoc  creditur  et 
in  omnibus  quae  animal  pariant.  de  his  quae 
ova  gignunt  incertum  est,  sed  dormire  ea  certum. 

Verum  et  ad  insecta  transeamus;    haec  namque 
restant,  inmensae  subtilitatis  animalia.1 

1  haec — animalia  (cf.  XI  1  init.)  om.  Caesarius. 


428 


BOOK  X.  xcvm.  212 

beside  human  beings,  horses,  dogs,  oxen,  sheep  and 
goats  dream;  it  is  consequently  believed  that, 
dreams  also  occur  in  all  viviparous  species.  As  to 
the  oviparous  creatures  it  is  uncertain,  but  it  is 
certain  that  they  sleep. 

But  let  us  also  pass  to  insects,  for  these  remain, 
creatures  of  immeasurably  minute  structure. 


429 


BOOK  XI 


LIBER  XI 

I.  Restant  immensae  subtilitatis  animalia,  quando 
aliqui  ea  neque  spirare  et  sanguine  etiam  carere 
prodiderunt.  multa  haec  et  multigenera  terrestrium 
volucrumque  vita,  alia.  .  .  -1  pennata,  ut  apes,  alia 
utroque  modo,  ut  formicae,  aliqua  et  pennis  et  pedibus 
carentia,  iure  omnia  insecta  appellata  ab  incisuris 
quae  nunc  cervicium'loco,  nunc  pectorum  atque  alvi, 
praecincta  separant  membra,  tenui  modo  fistula 
cohaerentia,  aliquis  vero  non  tota  incisurae  2  ambiente 
ruga,  sed  in  alvo  aut  superne  tantum,  imbricatis 
flexilibus  vertebris,  nusquam  alibi  spectatiore  natu- 
2  rae  rerum  artificio :  in  magnis  siquidem  cor- 
poribus  aut  certe  maioribus  facilis  officina  sequaci 
materia  fuit,  in  his  tarn  parvis  atque  tarn  nullis  quae 
ratio,  quanta  vis,  quam  inextricabilis  perfectio !  ubi 
tot  sensus  collocavit  in  culice  ? — et  sunt  alia  dictu 
minora, — sed  ubi  visum  in  eo  praetendit?  ubi 

1  lacunawi,  fort.  <(pinnis  carentia,  ut  iuli,  alia>  Mayfioff. 

2  Mayhoff :  incisura  earn. 

0  In  respect  of  insects  etc.  the  ancients,  handicapped  by 
not  having  microscopes,  were  even  more  at  fault  than  in  other 
departments. 

*  This  clause  is  a  conjectural  insertion  from  Aristotle 
523  b  19. 

432 


BOOK  XI 

L  There  remain  some  creatures  of  immeasurably  !***<**  .* 
minute  structure0 — in  fact  some  authorities  haveS 
stated  that  they  do  not  breathe  and  also  that  they  ^ure 
are  actually  devoid  of  blood.  These  are  of  great  limbs  and 
number  and  of  many  kinds ;  they  have  the  habits  *tinff3* 
of  land-animals  and  of  flying  animals,  some  lacking 
wings,  for  instance  centipedes,5,  others  winged,  for 
instance  bees,  others  of  both  kinds,  for  instance  ants, 
some  lacking  both  wings  and  feet ;  and  all  are  rightly 
termed  insects,  from  the  incisions  which  encircle 
them  in  some  cases  in  the  region  of  their  necks  and 
in  others  of  their  chests  and  stomach  and  separate 
off  their  limbs,  these  being  only  connected  by  a  thin 
tube,  with  some  however  the  crease  of  the  incision 
not  entirely  encircling  them,  but  only  at  the  belly 
or  higher  up,  with  flexible  vertebrae  shaped  like 
gutter-tiles — showing  a  craftsmanship  on  the  part 
of  Nature  that  is  more  remarkable  than  in  any  other 
case :  inasmuch  as  in  large  bodies  or  at  all  events 
the  larger  ones  the  process  of  manufacture  was 
facilitated  by  the  yielding  nature  of  the  material, 
whereas  in  these  minute  nothings  what  method, 
what  power,  what  labyrinthine  perfection  is  dis- 
played! Where  did  Nature  find  a  place  in  a  flea 
for  all  the  senses? — and  other  smaller  creatures 
can  be  mentioned, — but  at  what  point  in  its  surface 
did  she  place  sight?  where  did  she  attach  taste? 

433 

VOL.  III.  F  F 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

gustatum  adplicavit?    ubi  odoratum  inseruit?    ubi 
vero  truculentam  illam  et  portione  maximam  vocem 

3  ingeneravit  ?     qua  subtilitate  pennas  adnexuit,  prae- 
longavit  pedum  crura,  disposuit  ieiunam  caveam  uti 
alvum,    avidam    sanguinis    et    potissimum    humani 
sitim  *  accendit !  telum  vero  perfodiendo  tergori  quo 
spiculavit  ingenio,  atque  ut  in  capaci,  cum  cerni  non 
possit  exilitas,  reciproca  generavit  arte  ut  fodiendo 
acuminatum  pariter  sorbendoque  fistulosum  esset ! 
quos  teredini  ad  perforanda  robora  cum  2  sono  teste 
dentes  adfixit  potissimumque  e  ligno  cibatum  fecit ! 

4  sed  turrigeros  elephantorum  miramur  umeros  tauro- 
rumque  colla  et  truces  in  sublime  iactus,  tigrium 
rapinas,  leonum  iubas,  cum  rerum  natura  nusquam 
magis  quam  in  minimis  tota  sit.     quapropter  quaeso 
ne  nostra  legentes,  quoniam  ex  his  spernunt  multa, 
etiam  relata  fastidio  damnent,  cum  in  contemplatione 
naturae  nihil  possit  videri  supervacuum. 

5  II.  Insecta  multi  negarunt  spirare,  idque  ratione 
persuadentes    quoniam    viscera    interiora 3    nexus 
spirabilis   non   inessent,4   itaque   vivere    ut   fruges 
arboresque,  sed  plurimum  interesse  spiret  aliquid  an 
vivat ;  eadem  de  causa  nee  sanguinem  iis  esse,  qui  sit 
nullis  carentibus  corde  atque  iecore ;  sic  nee  spirare 
ea  quibus  pulmo  desit.    unde   numerosa   quaestio- 

1  siti  Dettefsen. 

a  robora  <terebrar>um  Mayhoff. 


8  inter  et  ora  Dettejsen. 
4  Mayhoff:  inesset. 


*  This  may  mean  the  ship-worm,  mistaken  for  an  insect,  or 
the  goat-moth  caterpillar  which  bores  into  living  trees. 

b  An  emendation  of  the  text  gives  *  as  is  evidenced  by  a 
sound  as  of  gimlets/ 

434 


BOOK  XI.  i.  2-n.  5 

where  did  she  insert  smell?  and  where  did  she 
implant  that  truculent  and  relatively  very  loud 
voice  ?  with  what  subtlety  she  attached  the  wings, 
extended  the  legs  that  carry  the  feet,  placed  a 
ravenous  hollow  to  serve  as  a  stomach,  kindled  a 
greedy  thirst  for  blood  and  especially  human  blood ! 
Then  with  what  genius  she  provided  a  sharp  weapon 
for  piercing  the  skin,  and  as  if  working  on  a  large 
object,  although  really  it  is  invisibly  minute, 
created  it  with  alternating  skill  so  as  to  be  at  once 
pointed  for  digging  and  tubed  for  sucking!  What 
teeth  she  attached  to  the  wood-borer  °  for  boring 
through  timber,  with  the  accompanying  sound  as 
evidence,6  and  made  its  chief  nutriment  to  consist 
of  wood!  But  we  marvel  at  elephants*  shoulders 
carrying  castles,  and  bulls'  necks  and  the  fierce 
tossings  of  their  heads,  at  the  rapacity  of  tigers 
and  the  manes  of  lions,  whereas  really  Nature  is 
to  be  found  in  her  entirety  nowhere  more  than  in 
her  smallest  creations.  I  consequently  beg  my 
readers  not  to  let  their  contempt  for  many  of  these 
creatures  lead  them  also  to  condemn  to  scorn  what 
I  relate  about  them,  since  in  the  contemplation  of 
Nature  nothing  can  possibly  be  deemed  superfluous. 

II.  Many  people  have  asserted  that  insects  do  They  u™ 
not  breathe,  also  arguing  in  support  of  this  from  the 
fact  that  they  do  not  possess  the  internal  organs  vi 
a  respiratory  system,  and  saying  that  consequently 
they  live  like  plants  and  trees,  whereas  there  is  a 

J  .    T*  v    j,  i         .r.  i  T   «          cmdihmgh 

very  great  difference  between  breathing  and  living; 
it  is  for  the  same  reason,  they  argue,  that  they  do 
not  contain  blood  either,  as  this  is  found  in  no  species 
lacking  a  heart  and  a  liver;  similarly,  they  say, 
things  that  have  not  got  lungs  do  not  breathe.  This 

435 

FF2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

6  num  series  exoritur.     iidem  enim  et  vocem  esse  his 
negant  in  tanto  murmure  apium,  cicadarum  sono,  et 
quae    alia    suis    aestimabuntur    locis.     nam    mihi 
contuenti    semper    suasit    rerum    natura    nihil    in- 
credibile  existimare  de   ea;    nee   video  cur  magis 
possint  non  trahere  animam  talia  et  vivere  quam 
spirare  sine  visceribus,  quod  etiam  in  marinis  docui- 
mus  quamvis  arcente  spiritum  densitate  et  altitudine 

7  umoris.     volare  quidem  aliqua  et  animatu  carere  in 
ipso  spiritu  viventia,  habere  sensum  victus,  genera- 
tionis,    operis,    atque    etiam   de   futuro   curam,    et 
quamvis  non  sint  membra  quae  velut  carina  1  sensus 
invehant  j  esse  tamen  iis  auditum,  olfactum,  gustatum, 
eximia  praeterea  naturae  dona,  sollertiam,  animum, 

8  artem,  quis  facile  crediderit  ?    sanguinem  non  esse  iis 
fateor,  sicut  ne  2  terrestribus  quidem  cunctis  inter  se 
similem ;  verum  ut  saepiae  in  mari  sanguinis  vicem  3 
atramentum  optinet,  purpurarum  generi  infector  ille 
sucus,  sic  et  insectis  quisquis  est  vitalis  umor  hie  erit 
sanguis.     denique  existimatio  sua  cuique  sit,  nobis 
propositum  est  naturas  rerum  manifestas  indicare, 
non  causas  indagare  dubias. 

9  III.  Insecta,    ut    intellegi    possit,    non    videntur 
habere  nervos  nee  ossa  nee  spinas  nee  cartilaginem 

1  canali  ?  MayJioff. 

2  ne  om.  v.l. 

3  vicem  CLut  vices  edd.  vett. :  vires. 

«  Of.  IX  16  ff. 

&  A  variant  gives  *  that  they  have  not  all  gat  the  same  kind 
of  blood,  as  all  land  animals  have.* 

436 


BOOK  XI.  ii.  5-m.  9 

gives  rise  to  a  long  list  of  questions.  For  the  same 
people  actually  say  that  these  creatures  have  not 
got  a  voice,  in  spite  of  all  the  buzzing  of  bees  and 
chirping  of  tree-crickets,  and  make  other  statements 
the  value  of  which  will  be  judged  in  their  places. 
For  when  I  have  observed  Nature  she  has  always 
induced  me  to  deem  no  statement  about  her 
incredible;  nor  do  I  see  why  such  creatures  should 
be  more  able  to  live  without  breathing  than  to 
breathe  without  vital  organs,  which  we  have  proved  ° 
to  occur  even  in  the  case  of  marine  creatures  in 
spite  of  the  fact  that  their  breath  is  barred  by  the 
density  and  depth  of  the  water.  At  all  events  that 
any  creatures  fly  and  yet  have  no  capacity  of 
breathing  in  spite  of  their  living  in  the  very  breath 
of  the  air,  and  that  they  have  consciousness  of 
nutrition,  generation  and  work,  and  even  interest 
in  the  future,  and  that  although  they  have  no  organs 
to  carry  the  senses  as  in  a  vessel,  they  nevertheless 
possess  hearing,  smell,  taste,  and  those  outstanding 
gifts  of  nature,  intelligence,  brain,  science,  into 
the  bargain — who  would  easily  believe  this?  I 
admit  that  they  have  not  got  blood,  as  even  land 
animals  have  not  all  got  blood  of  the  same  kind  b ; 
but  just  as  in  the  sea  the  black  fluid  of  the  cuttle- 
fish takes  the  place  of  blood,  as  also  does  the  famous 
juice  of  the  genus  purple-fish  that  supplies  a  dye, 
similarly  also  whatever  is  the  life-giving  fluid 
possessed  by  insects,  this  will  be  their  blood.  Finally 
let  each  man  form  his  own  opinion,  but  our  purpose 
is  to  point  out  the  manifest  properties  of  objects, 
not  to  search  for  doubtful  causes. 

III.  So  far  as  is  perceptible,  insects  do  not  appear 
to  possess  sinews  or  bones  or  spines  or  cartilage  or  fat 

437 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

nee  pinguia  nee  carnes,  ne  crustam  quidem  fragilem, 
ut  quaedam  marina,  nee  quae  iure  dicatur  cutis,  sed 
mediae  cuiusdam  inter  omnia  haec  naturae  corpus, 
arenti  simile,  in  1  nervo  mollius,  in  reliquis  partibus 
tutius  vere  quam  durius.  et  hoc  solum  iis  est,  nee 
practerea  aliud;  nihil  intus  nisi  admodum  paucis 

10  intestinum  inplicatum.     itaque    divolsis    praecipua 
vivacitas    et    partium    singularum   palpitatio,    quia 
quaecumque  est  ratio  vitalis  ilia  non  certis  inest 
membris  sed  toto  in  corpore,  minime  tamen  capite, 
solumque  non  movetur  nisi  cum  pectore  avolsum. 
in  nullo  genere  plure  sunt  pedes,  et  quibus  ex  his 
plurimij  diutius  vivunt  divulsa,  ut  in  scolopendris 
videmus.    habent  autem  oculos  praeterque  e  sensi- 
bus  tactum  atque  gustatum,  aliqua  et  odoratum, 
pauca  et  auditum. 

11  IV.  Sed  inter  omnia  ea  principatus  apibus  et  iure 
praecipua  admiratio,  solis  ex  eo  genere  hominum 
causa  genitis.     mella  contrahunt  sucumque  dulcissi- 
mum  atque  subtilissimum  ac  saluberrimum ;   favos 
confingunt  et  ceras  mille  ad  usus  vitae,  laborem 
tolerant,    opera    conficiunt,    rempublicam    habent, 
consilia  privatim  ac  duces  gregatim,  et  quod  maxime 

12  mirum  sit,  mores  habent  praetef  cetera,2  cum  sint 
neque  mansueti  generis  neque  feri.    tanta  est  natura 

1  in  add.  Radcham. 

2  Mayhoffi  habent  praeterea. 

a  The  bee  kept  by  the  Greeks  and   Romans  was  Apis 
Lignstica,  somewhat  smaller  than  our  bee. 


BOOK  XL  in.  9-iv.  12 

or  flesh,  and  not  even  a  fragile  rind,  such  as  some  sea  Exceptional 
creatures  have,  nor  anything  that  can  properly  be  ^^ 
termed  a  skin,  but  a  substance  of  a  nature  inter-  structure ; 
mediate  between  all  of  these,  as  it  were  dried  up,  *ense'organ* 
softer  in  the  sinew  but  harder  or  rather  more  durable 
in  all  the  other  parts.  And  this  is  all  that  they 
possess,  and  nothing  else  in  addition;  they  have 
no  internal  organs  except,  in  the  case  of  quite  a 
few,  a  twisted  intestine.  Consequently  when  torn 
asunder  they  display  a  remarkable  tenacity  of  life, 
and  the  separate  parts  go  on  throbbing,  because 
whatever  their  vital  principle  is  it  certainly  does 
not  reside  in  particular  members  but  in  the  body  as 
a  whole — least  of  all  in  the  head,  and  this  alone 
does  not  move  unless  it  has  been  torn  off  with  the 
breast.  No  other  kind  of  creature  has  a  greater 
number  of  feet,  and  of  this  species  the  ones  that 
have  more  feet  live  longer  when  torn  asunder,  as  we 
see  in  the  case  of  the  multipede.  But  they  possess 
eyes,  and  also  of  the  other  senses  touch  and  taste, 
and  some  have  smell  as  well,  and  a  few  hearing  also. 

IV.  But  among  all  of  these  species  the  chief  place  Tfobeeihe 
belongs  to  the  bees,a  and  this  rightly  is  the  species  ^*T*n 
chiefly  admired,  because  they  alone  of  this  genus  j^J^07 
have  been  created  for  the  sake  of  man.  They  collect 
honey,  that  sweetest  and  most  refined  and  most 
health-giving  of  juices,  they  model  combs  and  wax 
that  serves  a  thousand  practical  purposes,  they  endure 
toil,  they  construct  works,  they  have  a  government 
and  individual  enterprises  and  collective  leaders, 
and,  a  thing  that  must  occasion  most  surprise,  they 
have  a  system  of  manners  that  outstrips  that  of  all 
the  other  animals,  although  they  belong  neither  to 
the  domesticated  nor  to  the  wild  class.  Nature  is 

439 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

rerum  ut  prope  ex  umbra  minima  animalis  incom- 
parabile  effecerit  quiddam.  quos  efficaciae  in- 
dustriaeque  tantae  comparemus  nerves,  quas  vires  ? 
quos  ratione  medius  fidius  iis  1  viros,  hoc  certe  prae- 
stantioribus  quod  2  nihil  novere  nisi  commune  ?  non 
sit  de  anima  quaestio :  constet  et  de  sanguine ; 
quantulum  tamen  esse  in  tantulis  potest !  aestimemus 
post  ea  ingenium. 

13  V.  Hieme    conduntur — unde    enim    ad    pruinas 
nivesque  et  aquilonum  flatus  perferendos3  vires? — 
sane  et  insecta  omnia,  sed  minus  diu  quae  parietibus 
nostris  occultata  mature  tepefiunt.  circa  apes  aut 
temporum  locorumve  ratio  mutata  est,  aut  erraverunt 
priores.    conduntur   a    vergiliarum    occasu,    et   la- 
tent  ultra   exortum — adeo   non   ad   veris   initium, 
ut  dixere — nee  quisquam  in  Italia  de  alvis  existimat 

14  ante  fabas  florentes.     exeunt  ad  opera   et  labores, 
nullusque,  cum  per  caelum  licuit,  otio  perit  dies, 
primum  favos  construunt,  ceram  fingunt,  hoc   est 
domos  cellasque  faciunt,  dein  subolem,  postea  mella, 
ceram  ex  floribus,  melliginem  a  lacrimis  arborum 
quae  glutinum  pariunt,  salicis,  ulmi,  harundinis  suco, 

15  cummi,    resina.    his    primum    alvum    ipsam    intus 
totam  4  ut  quodam  tectorio  inlinunt,  et  aHis  amariori- 

1  iis  add.  MayKoff.  2  MayJioff :  quo. 

•    3  edd. :  perferre.  4  Sillig :  totnm  (in  totum  edd.)> 

a  As  a  matter  of  fact  nearly  all  insects  die  in  winter. 
b  About  the  beginning  of  November. 
c  About  the  beginning  of  May. 

440 


BOOK  XL  iv.  i2-v.  15 

so  mighty  a  power  that  out  of  what  is  almost  a  tiny 
ghost  of  an  animal  she  has  created  something 
incomparable !  What  sinews  or  muscles  can  we 
match  with  such  efficacy  and  industry  as  that  of 
the  bees?  What  men,  I  protest,  can  we  rank  in 
rationality  with  these  insects,  which  unquestionably 
excel  mankind  in  this,  that  they  recognize  only 
the  common  interest?  Not  raising  the  question  of 
breath,  suppose  we  agree  as  to  their  possessing  even 
blood ;  yet  what  a  tiny  quantity  can  there  be  in  these 
tiny  creatures  !  After  these  points  let  us  estimate 
their  intelligence. 

V.  In  winter  insects  go  into  retirement a — for  Hibernation 
whence  could  they  obtain  strength  to  endure  frost  and  °f*ee*m 
snow  and  the  blasts  of  the  north  wind  ? — #11  species 
alike,  no  doubt,  but  not  for  so  long  a  period  the  ones 
that  hide  in  our  house-walls  and  are  warmed  earlier 
than  others  are.  In  regard  to  bees,  either  seasons 
or  else  climates  have  changed,  or  previous  writers 
have  been  mistaken.  They  go  into  retirement 
after  the  setting  b  of  the  Pleiads  and  remain  in  hiding 
till  after  their  risec — so  not  till  the  beginning  of 
spring,  as  writers  have  said, — and  nobody  in  Italy 
thinks  about  hives  before  the  bean  is  in  flower. 
They  go  out  to  their  works  and  to  their  labours,  and 
not  a  single  day  is  lost  in  idleness  when  the  weather 
grants  permission.  First  they  construct  combs  construction 
"and  mould  wax,  that  is,  construct  their  homes  and  ° 
"cells,  then  produce  offspring,  and  afterwards  honey, 
wax  from  flowers,  bee-glue  from  the  droppings  of 
the  gum-producing  trees — the  sap,  glue  and  resin 
of  the  willow,  elm  and  reed.  They  first  smear  the 
whole  interior  of  the  hive  itself  with  these  as  with 
a  kind  of  stucco,  and  then  with  other  bitterer  juices 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

bus  sucis  contra  aliarum  bestiolarum  aviditates,  id 
se  facturas  consciae  quod  concupisci  possit;  isdem 
fores  quoque  latiores  circumstruunt. 

16  VI.  Prima  fundamenta  commosin  vocant  periti, 
secunda    pissoceron,    tertia    propolin,    inter    coria 
cerasque,   magni  ad  medicamina  usus.     commosis 
crusta  est  prima  saporis  amari.    pissoceros  super  earn 
venit,  picantium  modo,  ceu  dilutior  cera.     e  vitium 
populorumque  mitiore  cummi  propolis  crassioris  iam 
materiae  additis  floribus,  nondum  tamen  cera,  sed 
favorum    stabilimentunij    qua    omnes    frigoris    aut 
iniuriae  aditus  obstruuntur,  odore  et  ipsa  etiamnum  l 
gravi,  ut  qua  plerique  pro  galbano  utantur. 

17  VII.  Praeter    haec    convehitur    erithace    quam 
aliqui  sandaracam,  alii  cerinthum  vocant :   hie  erit 
apium   dum   operantur  cibus,   qui   saepe   invenitur 
in    favorum    inanitatibus   sepositus,   et  ipse   amari 
saporis,    gignitur    autem   rore    verno    et    arbonun 
suco    cummium    modo.     capitur    in    ficis 2 — austri 
flatu    nigrior,    aquilonibus     melior     et      rubens— - 
plurimus  in   Graecis  nucibus.     Menecrates   florem 
esse  dicitj  sed  nemo  praeter  eum, 

18  VIII.  Ceras    ex    omnium    arborum    satorumque 
floribus  confingunt  excepta  rumice  et  echinopode : 
herbarum  haec  genera,    falso  excipitur  et  spartum, 

1  edd. :  etiamminc. 

2  Mayhoff :  capitur  fici  (oapitur  Africi  Sttlig). 


a  I.e.  *  gumming,'  '  pitch-waxiag  '  and  *  bee-glue.* 
*  Perhaps  buglosa. 


442 


BOOK  XL  v.  15-viii.  18 

as  a  protection  against  the  greed  of  other  small 
creatures,  as  they  know  that  they  are  going  to  make 
something  that  may  possibly  be  coveted;  with  the 
same  materials  they  also  build  wider  gateways 
round  the  structure. 

VI.  The  first  foundations  are  termed  by  experts  Three 
commosis,  the  second  pissoceros,  the  third  propolis,"  materia^' 
between  the  outer  cover  and  the  wax,  substances  of 
great  use  for  medicaments.    Commosis  is  the  first 
crust,  of  a  bitter  flavour.    Pissoceros  comes  above  it, 

as  in  laying  on  tar,  as  being  more  fluid  than  wax. 
Propolis  is  obtained  from  the  milder  gum  of  vines 
and  poplars,  and  is  made  of  a  denser  substance  by 
the  addition  of  flowers,  and  though  not  as  yet  wax 
it  serves  to  strengthen  the  combs;  with  it  all 
approaches  of  cold  or  damage  are  blocked,  and  besides 
it  has  itself  a  heavy  scent,  being  in  fact  used  by  most 
people  as  a  substitute  for  galbanum. 

VII.  Besides  these  things  a  collection  is  made  of  store  of 
erithace,  which  some  people  call  sandarach  and  others  foodm 
bee-bread;  this  will  serve  as  food  for  the  bees  while 
they  are  at  work,  and  it  is  often  found  stored  up  in 

the  hollows  of  the  combs,  being  itself  also  of  a  bitter 
flavour,  but  it  is  produced  out  of  spring  dew  of  trees 
like  the  gums.  It  is  obtained  in  fig  trees— blacker 
in  colour  when  an  east  wind  is  blowing  and  of 
better  quality  and  a  reddish  colour  when  north 
winds  blow — and  in  the  largest  quantity  in  Greek 
nut-trees.  Menecrates  says  that  it  is  a  flower,  but 
he  is  the  only  authority  that  makes  that  statement. 

VIII.  They  make  their  wax  from  the  flowers  of  Cofoction  of 
all  trees  and  plants  except  the  sorrel  and  the***' 
echinopod6 ;  these  are  kinds  of  herbs.    It  is  a  mistake 

to  say  that  esparto  grass  is  also  an  exception,  because 

443 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

quippe  cum  in  Hispania  multa  in  spartariis  mella 
herbam  earn  sapiant.  falso  et  oleas  excipi  arbitror, 
quippe  olivae  proventu  plurima  examina  gigni 
perform  est.  fructibus  nullis  nocetur.  mortuis  ne 
floribus  quidem,  non  modo  corporibus,  insidunt. 

19  operantur  intra  LX  passus  et  subinde  consumptis  in 
proximo  floribus  speculatores   ad  pabula  ulteriora 
mittunt.     noctu  deprehensae  in  expeditione  excu- 
bant  supinae,  ut  alas  a  rore  protegant. 

IX.  Ne  quis  miretur  amore  earum  captos  Aristo- 
machum  Solensem  duodesexaginta  annis  nihil  aliud 
egisse,  Philiscum  vero  Thasium  in  desertis  apes 
colentem  Agrium  cognominatum,  qui  ambo  scripsere 
de  iis. 

20  X.  Ratio   operis   mire   divisi1:   static    ad    portas 
more  castrorum;    quies  in  matutinum,  donee  una 
excitet  gemino  aut  triplici  bombo  ut  bucino  aliquo ; 
tune  universae  provolant,  si  dies  mitis  futurus  est — 
praedivinant    enim    ventos    imbresque,    cum2     se 
continent   tectis,   itaque   temperiei 3    caeli   otium 4 
hoc  inter  praescita  habent.    cum  agmen  ad  opera 
processit,  aliae  flores  adgerunt  pedibus,  aliae  aquam 

21  ore  guttasque  lanugine  totius  corporis.     quibus  est 
earum  adulescentia  ad  opera  exeunt  et  supradicta 
convehunt,   seniores   intus   operantur.     quae   flores 
conportant,  prioribus  pedibus  femina  onerant  prop- 

1  Mayhoff,  cf.  §§  23,  25  :  operis  interdiu. 
May Ju!ff  •.  ni. 


a  Mayhoff:  ni. 

8  Rackham  :  temperies  (temperie  edd.}, 

4  Mayhoff :  cum  aut  turn. 


444 


BOOK  XL  vm.  i8-x.  21 

a  great  deal  of  the  honey  obtained  in  the  broom- 
thickets  in  Spain  tastes  of  that  plant.  I  also  think 
that  olives  are  wrongly  excepted,  as  it  is  certain 
that  the  largest  number  of  swarms  are  produced 
where  olive-trees  are  growing.  No  harm  is  done  to 
any  kind  of  fruit.  They  do  not  settle  even  on  dead 
flowers,  let  alone  dead  bodies.  They  work  within  a 
range  of  sixty  paces,  and  subsequently  when  the 
flowers  in  the  vicinity  have  been  used  up  they  send 
scouts  to  further  pastures.  If  overtaken  by  night- 
fall on  an  expedition  they  camp  out,  reclining  on 
their  backs  to  protect  their  wings  from  the  dew. 

IX.  Nobody  must  be  surprised  that  love  for  bees 
inspired  Aristomachus  of  Soli  to  devote  himself  to 
nothing  else  for  58  years,  and  Philiscus  of  Thasos 
to  keep  bees  in  desert  places,  winning  the  name 
of  the  Wild  Man ;  both  of  these  have  written  about 
them. 

X.  Their  work  is  marvellously  mapped  out  on  the  Their 
following  plan:  a  guard  is  posted  at  the  gates, 

the  manner  of  a  camp ;  they  sleep  till  dawn,  until  «w#. 
one  bee  wakes  them  up  with  a  double  or  triple  buzz 
as  a  sort  of  bugle-call ;  then  they  all  fly  forth  in  a  body, 
if  the  day  is  going  to  be  fine — for  they  forecast  winds 
and  rain,  in  case  of  which  they  keep  indoors ;  and 
consequently  men  consider  this  inaction  on  the 
part  of  the  bees  as  one  of  the  prognostics  of  the 
weather.  When  the  band  has  gone  out  to  its  tasks, 
some  bring  home  flowers  in  their  feet  and  others 
water  in  their  mouth  and  drops  clinging  to  the  down 
all  over  their  body.  While  the  youthful  among 
them  go  out  to  their  tasks  and  collect  the  things 
mentioned  above,  the  older  ones  work  indoors. 
Those  collecting  flowers  with  their  front  feet  load 

445 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

ter  id  natura  scabra,  pedes  priores  rostro,  totaeque 

22  onustae  remeant  sarcina  pandatae.    excipiunt  eas 
ternae  quaternae  quae  exonerant :   sunt  enim  intus 
quoque  officia  divisa — aliae  struunt,  aliae  poliunt,  aliae 
suggerunt,  aliae  cibum  conparant  ex  eo  quod  adla- 
tum    est;    neque    enim   separatim    vescuntur,    ne 
inaequalitas  operis  et  cibi  fiat  et  temporis.    struunt 
orsae   a   concamaratione   alvi,   textumque   velut    a 
summa  tela  deducunt,  limitibus  birds  circa  singulos 

23  actus,  ut  aliis  intrent,  aliis    exeant.     favi  superior! 
parti1    adfixi     et     paulum    etiam    lateribus    simul 
haerent  et  pendent,  imam2  alvum  non  contingunt, 
tune  3  oblongi,4  tune  rotundi,  qualiter  poscit  alvus, 
aliquando  et  duorum  generum,  cum  duo  examina 
concordibus  populis  dissimiles  habuere  ritus.    ruentes 
ceras  fulciunt,  pilarum  intergerivis  a  solo  fornicatis 

24  ne   desit   aditus    ad   sarciendum.     primi   fere   tres 
versus    inanes   struuntur,   ne   promptum   sit    quod 
invitet  furantem,  novissimi  maxime  implentur  melle : 
ideo  aversa  alvo  favi  eximuntur.    gerulae  secundos 
flatus    captant.    si    cooriatur   procella,    adprehensi 
pondusculo  lapilli  se  librant ;  quidam  in  umeros  eum 

1  2tacJc?iam :  superiore  parte.  2  Deilefsen  :  ima. 

3  tnno  Dettefsen  i  nunc. 
446 


BOOK  XI.  x.  21-24 

their  thighs,  which  are  covered  with  scales  so  as  to 
serve  this  purpose,  and  with  their  beak  load  their 
front  feet,  and  when  fully  loaded  return  bulging 
with  their  burden.  Each  is  received  by  three  or 
four  others  who  relieve  him  of  his  load  :  for  indoors 
also  the  duties  are  divided  —  some  build,  others 
polish,  others  bring  up  material,  others  prepare 
food  from  what  is  brought  to  them  ;  for  they  do  not 
feed  separately,  so  that  there  shall  be  no  inequality 
of  work  or  food  or  time.  In  building  they  begin 
with  the  vaulting  of  the  hive,  and  they  bring  down 
as  it  were  a  web  from  the  top  of  a  loom,  with  two 
balks  round  each  square  of  work,  so  that  some  may 
come  in  and  others  go  out.  The  combs  hang  firmly 
attached  to  the  upper  part  and  also  a  little  to  the 
sides  at  the  same  time,  but  they  do  not  reach  to  the 
floor  of  the  hive  ;  sometimes  they  are  oblong  and 
sometimes  round,  according  as  the  shape  of  the 
hive  requires,  and  occasionally  also  of  both  kinds, 
when  two  swarms  whose  members  are  friendly 
have  different  customs.  They  prop  up  combs  that 
are  inclined  to  fall,  the  party-walls  between  the 
pillars  being  arched  from  the  ground  level  so  as  to 
supply  access  for  the  purpose  of  repairing.  The 
first  three  rows  or  so  are  arranged  empty,  so  that 
there  may  not  be  any  obvious  temptation  to  a  thief; 
the  last  ones  are  filled  fullest  with  honey; 
consequently  the  combs  are  taken  out  from  the  back 
of  the  hive.  Carrier  bees  wait  for  favourable  breezes. 
If  a  storm  arises,  they  steady  themselves  with  the 
weight  of  a  little  pebble  held  in  their  feet;  some 
authorities  say  that  it  is  placed  on  their  shoulders, 


Pintianus  (e  Colwmella)  : 

447 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

inponi  tradunt.    iuxta  vero  terrain  volant  in   ad- 

25  verso  flatu  vepribus  evitatis.    mira  observatio  operis  : 
cessantium    inertiam    notant,    castigant,    mox    et 
punhint  morte.    mira  munditia :  amoliuntur  omnia  e 
medio,    nullaeque    inter    opera    spureitiae    iacent; 
quin  et  excrementa  operantium  intus,  ne  longius 
recedant,  unum  congesta  in  locum  turbidis  diebus 

26  et  operis  otio  egerunt.     cum  adversperascit,  in  alvo 
strepunt  minus   ac  minus,  donee  una  circum volet 
eodem   quo   excitavit  bombo   ceu   quietem   capere 
imperitans,  et  hoc  castrorum  more;    tune  repente 
omnes  conticescunt. 

Domos  primum  plebei  exaedificant,  deinde  re- 
gibus,  si  speratur  largior  proventus,  adiciuntur 
contubernia  et  fucis;  hae  cellarum  nu'nimae,  sed 

27  ipsis1  maiores   apibus.    XL   sunt  autem   fuci   sine 
aculeo,    velut    inperfectae    apes    novissimaeque,   a 
fessis    et   iam   emeritis   inchoatae,   serotinus    fetus 
et  quasi  servitia  verarum  apium;  quamobrem  im- 
perant  is  primosque  expellunt  in  opera,  tardantis  sine 
dementia  puniunt.    neque  in  opere  tantum,  sed  in 
fetu    quoque    adiuvant    eas,    multum    ad    calorem 

1  RacUiam :  ipsi. 

a  I.e.  the  queen-bees. 

6  Fucust  t  pretence,'  '  sham  bee,'  was  used  as  a  name  for 
the  drones  because  of  their  supposed  sterility  (c/.  §  49),  although 
just  below  here  Pliny  seems  aware  that  their  presence  has 
something  to  do  with,  the  size  of  the  population  of  the  hive. 
They  are  in  fact  the  males,  who  impregnate  the  queens,  and 
are  then  idle  consumers  until,  when  the  harvest  of  honey 

448 


BOOK  XI.  x.  24-xi,  27 

However  in  a  wind  against  them  they  fly  close  to  the 
ground,  carefully  avoiding  the  brambles.  They  keep 
a  wonderful  watch  on  the  work  in  hand ;  they  mark 
the  idleness  of  any  who  are  slack  and  chastise  them,^ 
and  later  even  punish  them  with  death.  They  are 
wonderfully  clean:  they  remove  everything  out 
of  the  way  and  no  refuse  is  left  lying  among  their 
work ;  indeed  the  droppings  of  those  working  inside 
are  heaped  in  one  place  so  that  they  may  not  have 
to  retire  too  far,  and  they  carry  them  out  on  stormy 
days  and  when  work  is  suspended.  When  evening 
approaches,  the  buzzing  inside  the  hive  grows  less 
and  less,  till  one  bee  flies  round  as  though  giving 
the  order  to  take  repose  with  the  same  loud  buzz 
with  which  she  woke  them,  and  this  in  the  manner 
of  a  military  camp;  thereupon  they  all  suddenly 
become  quiet. 

They  build  homes  for  the  commonalty  first,  and 
for  the  kings a  afterwards.  If  a  specially  large 
production  of  honey  is  expected,  quarters  are  added 
for  the  drones  as  well;  these  are  the  smallest  of  the 
cells,  but  those  for  the  worker-bees  themselves  are 
larger.  XL  The  drones  b  have  no  stings,  being-  so  to  ^^  $ 
say  imperfect  bees  and  the  newest  made,  the  incom- 
plete product  of  those  that  are  exhausted  and  now 
discharged  from  service,  a  late  brood,  and  as  it  were 
the  servants  of  the  true  bees,  who  consequently 
order  them  about,  and  drive  them  out  first  to  the 
works,  punishing  laggards  without  mercy.  And 
the  drones  are  of  service  to  the  bees  not  only  in 
work  but  also  when  breeding,  as  their  crowd 

begins  to  fail  in  autumn,  they  are  killed  and  oast  out  of  the 
colony  by  the  worker-bees.  The  workers  are  females  not 
specialized  like  the  queens  for  reproduction. 

449 
VOL.  III.  G  G 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

28  conferente  turba;   certe  quo  maior  eorum  fuit  mul- 
titude, hoc  maior  fit  et 1  examinum  proventus.     cum 
mella  coeperunt  maturescere,  abigunt  eos,  multaeque 
singulos  adgressae  trucidant.    nee  id  genus  nisi  vere 
eonspicitur.    fucus  ademptis  alis  in  alvum  reiectus 

29  ipse    ceteris    adimit.      XII.    regias    imperatoribus 
futuris  in  ima  parte  alvi  exstruunt  amplas,  magnificas, 
separatas,  tuberculo  eminentes ;  quod  si  exprimatur, 
non  gignuntur.2    sexangulae  omnes  cellae  a  singu- 
lorum  pedum  opere.     nihil  horum  stato  tempore, 
sed  rapiunt  diebus  serenis  munia.    melle  uno  alterove 
summum  die  cellas  replent. 

30  Venit  hoc  ex  aere  et  maxime   siderum   exortu, 
praecipueque    ipso    Sirio    explendescente    fit 3  nee 
omnino  prius  vergiliarum  exortu,  sublucanis  tempori- 
bus.     itaque  tuna  prima  aurora  folia  arborum  melle 
roscida  inveniuntur,  ac  si  qui  matutino  sub  divo4 
fuere;  unctas  liquore  vestis  capillumque  concretum 
sentiunt,   sive   ille    est   caeli   sudor   sive    quaedam 
siderum  saliva  sive  purgantis  se  aeris  sucus.    utinam- 
que  esset  purus  ac  liquidus  et  suae  naturae,  qualis 

31  defluit  primo!  nunc  vero  a  tanta  cadens  altitudine 
multumque   dum  venit  sordescens  et  obvio  terrae 
halitu  infectus,  praeterea  e  fronde  ac  pabulis  potus  et 


1  Mayhoff :  fiet  aut  fit.          2  vJ.  gignuntur  suboles. 

3  edd. :  explendescente  aut  exsplendescit. 

4  v.l.  sub  dm. 


450 


BOOK  XL  xi.  27-xii.  31 

contributes  much  to  their  warmth:  it  is  certain 
that  the  larger  number  of  drones  there  has  been, 
the  larger  production  of  swarms  also  occurs.  When 
the  honey  has  begun  to  ripen,  the  bees  drive  the 
drones  away,  and  falling  on  them  many  to  one  kill 
them.  Moreover  this  class  of  bee  is  only  seen  in 
spring.  If  a  drone  is  stripped  of  its  wings  and  after- 
wards thrown  back  into  the  hive  it  itself  strips 
the  wings  off  the  others.  XII.  They  build  large 
and  splendid  separate  palaces  for  those  who  are  to  be 
their  rulers,  in  the  bottom  of  the  hive;  these  project 
with  a  protuberance,  and  if  this  be  squeezed  out, 
no  offspring  is  born.  All  the  cells  are  hexagonal, 
each  side  being  made  by  one  of  the  bee's  six  feet. 
None  of  these  tasks  are  done  at  a  fixed  time,  but  they 
snatch  their  duties  on  fine  days.  They  fill  their 
cells  with  honey  on  one  or  at  most  two  days. 

Honey  comes  out  of  the  air,  and  is  chiefly  formed 
at  the  rising  of  the  stars,  and  especially  when  the 
Dogstar  itself  shines  forth,  and  not  at  all  before  the  Jjjjj** 
rising  of  the  Pleiads,  in  the  periods  just  before  atmadu. 
dawn.  Consequently  at  that  season  at  early  dawn 
the  leaves  of  trees  are  found  bedewed  with  honey, 
and  any  persons  who  have  been  out  under  the 
morning  sky  feel  their  clothes  smeared  with  damp 
and  their  hair  stuck  together,  whether  this  is  the 
perspiration  of  the  sky  or  a  sort  of  saliva  of  the  stars 
or  the  moisture  of  the  air  purging  itself.  And 
would  it  were  pure  and  liquid  and  hoiBOgeneotis, 
as  it  was  when  it  first  flowed  down !  But  as  it  is, 
falling  from  so  great  a  height  and  acquiring  a  great 
deal  of  dirt  as  it  comes  and  becoming  stained  with 
vapour  of  the  earth  that  it  encounters,  and  moreover 
having  been  sipped  from  foliage  and  pastures  and 

45i 

GQ2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

in  utriculos  congestus  apium — ore  enim  eum  vomunt, 
ad  hoc  suco  florum  corruptus  et  alvi  vitiis  * 
maceratusj  totiensque  mutatus,  magnam  tamen 
caelestis  naturae  voluptatem  adfert. 

32  XIIL  Ibi  optumus  semper  ubi  optimorum  doliolis 
florum    conditur.      fit 2    Attic ae    regionis    hoc    et 
Siculae  Hymetto  et  Hybla,  apricis  locis,3  mox  Calydna 
in  4  insula.     est  autem  initio  mel  ut  aqua  dilutum,  et 
primis    diebus  fervet  ut  musta  seque  purgat,  vi- 
censimo  die  crassescit,  mox  obducitur  tenui  mem- 
brana  quae  fervoris  ipsius  spuma  concrescit.     sor- 
betur  optimum  et  minime  fronde  infectum  e  quercus, 
tiliae,  harundinum  foliis. 

33  XIV.  Summa  quidem  bonitatis  ratione  5  constat, 
ut  supra  diximus,  pluribus  jnodis.     aliubi  enim  favi 
cera  spectabiles  gignuntur,  ut  in  Sicilia,  Paelignis, 
aliubi    copia   mellis,    ut   in   Greta,    Cypro,    Africa, 
aliubi    magnitudine,    ut   in   septentrionalibus,   viso 
iam  in  Germania  octo  pedum  longitudinis  favo  in 

34  cava   parte   nigro.     in   quocumque    tamen   tractu 
terna  sunt  genera  mellis.    vernum  ex  floribus  con- 
structo    favo,    quod   ideo    vocatur    anthinurn.    hoc 
quidam  attingi  vetant,  ut  largo  alimento  valida  exeat 
suboles ;     alii    ex   nullo    minus    apibus    relinquunt, 
quoniam  magna  sequatur  ubertas  magnorum  siderum 

1  MayTioff :  alvinis  aut  alveis.          2  fit  add.  Mayhoff. 
3  Mayhoff  ? :  ab  locis  aut  locis.         4  in  add.  ?  Mayhoff. 


6  v.l.  natione. 
At  § 


452 


BOOK  XL  xii.  3i~xiv.  34 

having  been  collected  into  the  stomachs  of  bees — 
for  they  throw  it  up  out  of  their  mouths,  atid  in 
addition  being  tainted  by  the  juice  of  flowers,  and 
soaked  in  the  curruptions  of  the  belly,  and  so  often 
transformed,  nevertheless  it  brings  with  it  the  great 
pleasure  of  its  heavenly  nature. 

XIII.  It  is  always  of  the  best  quality  where  it  is  rorWiw  of 
stored  in  the  calyces  of  the  best  flowers.    This  takes  1WMy* 
place  at  Hymettus  and  Hybla  in  the  region  of 
Attica   and   of  Sicily,  which  are   sunny  localities 

and  also  on  the  island  of  Calydna.  But  at  the 
start  it  is  honey  diluted  as  it  were  with  water,  and 
in  the  first  days  it  ferments  like  must  and  purifies 
itself,  while  on  the  twentieth  day  it  thickens  and 
then  is  covered  with  a  thin  skin  which  forms  from 
the  foam  of  the  actual  boiling.  The  best  kind  and 
that  least  stained  with  the  foliage  is  sucked  from  the 
leaves  of  the  oak  and  lime  and  of  reeds. 

XIV.  Indeed   it   is   constituted   on   a   supreme 
principle  of  excellence,  as  we  have  said,0  in  a  variety 
of  ways.    In  some  places  honeycombs  distinguished 
for  their  wax  are  formed,  as  in  Sicily  and  the  Abruzzi, 
in  other  places  for  quantity  of  honey,  as  in  Crete, 
Cyprus,  Africa,  in  others  for  size,  as  in  the  northern 
countries,  a  comb  havjtag  before  now  been  seen  in 
Germany  that  was  8  ft.  long,  and  black  in  its  hollow 
part.    Yet  in  any  region  there  are  three  kinds  of  Seasonal 
honey.    There  is  spring  honey  with  the  comb  made 
from  flowers,  which  is  consequently  called  flower- 
honey.    Some  people  say  this   ought  not  to  be 
touched,  so  that  a  progeny  made  strong  by  plentiful 
nourishment  may  be  produced;   but  others  leave 

less  of  this  honey  than  of  any  other  kind  for  the  bees, 
on  the  ground  that  a  great  profusion  follows  at  the 

453 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

exortu,  praeterea   solstitio,   cum    thymum   et   uva 

35  florere  incipiunt,  praecipua  cellarum  materia.     est 
autem    in   eximendis   favis   necessaria    dispensatio, 
quoniam   inopia  cibi   desperant    moriunturque   aut 
diffugiunt,  contra  copia  ignaviam  adfert,  ac  iam  melle, 
non  erithace,  pascuntur;    ergo  diligentiores  ex  hac 
vindemia  xv  partem  apibus  relinquont.     dies  status 
inchoandae  ut  quadam   lege  naturae,  si  scire  aut 
observare    homines  vellent,  tricensimus   ab   educto 
examine;     fereque    Maio    mense    includitur    haec 
vindemia. 

36  Alterum  genus  est  mellis  aestivi,  quod  ideo  vocatur 
horaeon   a  tempestivitate  praecipua,  ipso  sirio  ex- 
splendescente,  post  solstitium  diebus  xxx  fere,    in- 
mensa  circa  hoc  subtilitas  naturae  mortalibus  pate- 
facta  est,  nisi  fraus  hominum  cuncta  pernicie  corrum- 

37  peret.     namque    ab    exortu    sideris    cuiuscumque, 
sed  nobilium  maxime,  aut  caelestis  arcus,  si  non 
sequantur    imbres    sed   ros   tepescat    solis    radiis, 
medicamenta,  non  mella,  gignuntur,  oculis,  ulceribus 
internisque    visceribus     dona    caelestia.     quod     si 
servetur    hoc  Sirio  exoriente  casuque   congruat  in 
eunflem  diem,  ut    saepe,  Veneris  aut   lovis   Mer- 
curive  exortus,  non  alia  suavitas  visque  mortalium 
malis    a    morte    revocandis    quam    divini   nectaris 
fiat. 

38  XV.   Mel  plenilunio  uberius  capitur,  sereno  die 
pinguius.      in   omni  melle   quod  per  se  fluxit   ut 

454 


BOOK  XL  xiv.  34-xv.  38 

rising  of  the  great  stars,  and  also  at  the  solstice, 
when  thyme  and  grape-vines  begin  to  flower,  the 
outstanding  material  for  the  cells.  It  is  however 
necessary  to  practice  economy  in  taking  away  the 
combs,  as  lack  of  food  causes  the  bees  to  despair 
and  die  or  fly  away,  and  on  the  other  hand  a  large 
supply  brings  sloth,  and  then  the  bees  feed  on  the 
honey  and  not  on  bee-bread;  consequently  the  more 
careful  beekeepers  leave  a  fifteenth  part  of  this  vintage 
to  the  bees.  The  day  fixed  for  beginning  by  a  sort  of 
law  of  nature,  if  only  men  would  know  or  keep  it,  is 
the  thirtieth  after  the  leading  out  of  the  swarm ;  and 
this  vintage  usually  falls  within  the  month  of  May. 

The  second  kind  of  honey  is  summer  honey,  the 
Greek  name  for  which  consequently  is  *  ripe  honey/ 
because  it  is  produced  in  the  most  favourable  season, 
when  the  dogstar  is  shining  in  its  full  splendour, 
about  thirty  days  after  midsummer.  In  respect 
of  this,  immense  subtlety  on  the  part  of  .nature 
has  been  displayed  to  mortals,  did  not  man's  dis- 
honesty spoil  everything  with  its  banefulness.  For 
after  the  rising  of  each  star,  but  particularly  the 
principal  stars,  or  of  a  rainbow,  if  rain  does  not 
follow  but  the  dew  is  warmed  by  the  rays  of  the  sun, 
not  honey  but  drugs  are  produced,  heavenly  gifts 
for  the  eyes,  for  ulcers  and  for  the  internal  organs. 
And  if  this  substance  is  kept  when  the  dogstar  is 
rising,  and  if,  as  often  happens,  the  rise  of  Venus  or 
Jupiter  or  Mercury  falls  on  the  same  day,  its  sweet- 
ness and  potency  for  recalling  mortals*  ills  from 
death  is  equal  to  that  of  the  nectar  of  the  gods. 

XV.  Honey  is  obtained  more  copiously  at 
moon,  and  of  thicker  substance  in  fine  weather.    In 
all  honey  the  portion  that  has  flowed  by  itself  like 

455 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

mustum  oleumque — appellatur  acetum — maxime 
laudabile  est.  aestivum  omne  rutilum,  ut  siccioribus 
confectum  diebus.  album  mel  non  fit  ubi  thymum 
est,  sed  oculis  et  ulceribus  aptissimum  existimatur  e 
thymo,  coloris  aurei,  saporis  gratissimi.  coit l  palam 

39  e  violis  2  pingue,  e  marine  rore  spissum,  quod  con- 
crescit    autem    minime    laudatur.    thymosum    non 
coit  et  tactu  praetenuia  fila  remittit,3  quod  primum 
bonitatis    argumentum    est ;     abrumpi    statim    et 
resilire  guttas  vilitatis  indicium  habetur.     sequens 
probatio  ut  sit  odoratum  et  ex  dulci  acre,  glutinosum, 

40  perlucidum.     ex  4  aestiva  mellatione  x  partem  Cassio 
Dionysio  apibus  relinqui  placet,  si  plenae  fuerint 
alvi;    si    minus,  pro  rata  portione  aut,  si  inanes, 
omnino  non  attingi.    huic  vindemiae  Attici  signum 
dedere  initium  caprinci,  alii  diem  Volcano  sacrum. 

41  Terbium  genus  mellis  minime  probatum  silvestre, 
quod    ericaeum    vocant.    convehitur    post    primos 
autumni  imbres,  cum  erice  sola  floret  in  silvis,  ob  id 
harenoso  simile,    gignit  id  maxume  Arcturi  exortus 
ex  a.  d.  pr.  id.  Septembris.  quidam  aestivam  mella- 
tionem  ad  Arcturi  exortum  proferunt,  quoniam  ad 
aequinoctium  autumni  ab   eo  supersint  dies  xiv,  et 
ab    aequinoctio    ad    Vergiliarum    occasum    diebus 

42  xxxxvin     plurima     sit     erice.      Athenienses     earn 

1  Dettefsen  :  cofit  aut  quo  fit. 
8  e  violis  ?  Mayhoff :  doliolis. 
3  ?  Mayhoff :  mittit.  4  ex  add,  Ian. 

a  About  midsummer.  b  August  23. 

456 


BOOK  X.  xv.  38-42 

must  and  olive  oil — it  is  called  honey-vinegar — is  the 
most  commendable.  All  summer  honey  is  reddish, 
as  it  has  been  made  in  a  comparatively  dry  period. 
White  honey  is  not  made  where  there  is  thyme,  but 
honey  made  from  thyme  is  thought  most  suitable  for 
the  eyes  and  for  ulcers — it  is  of  a  gold  colour  and  has 
an  extremely  agreeable  taste.  The  fat  honey  from 
violets  and  the  thick  kind  from  rosemary  can  be  seen 
to  condense,  but  honey  that  thickens  is  least 
praised.  Honey  from  thyme  does  not  condense,  and 
when  touched  sends  out  very  thin  threads,  which  is 
the  first  proof  of  goodness ;  it  is  considered  a  mark 
of  poor  quality  for  the  drops  to  break  off  at  once  and 
fall  back.  The  next  test  is  for  it  to  have  a  fragrant 
scent  and  a  sweet  taste  leaving  a  tang,  and  to  be 
sticky  and  transparent.  Cassius  Dionysius  holds  that 
a  tenth  part  of  the  summer  honey-crop  should  be  left 
to  the  bees,  if  the  hives  were  full,  and  that  if  they 
were  not,  a  proportionate  amount  should  be  left, 
or  if  they  were  empty,  they  should  not  be  touched 
at  all.  The  population  of  Attica  have  given  the 
first  ripening  of  the  wild  fig  a  as  the  signal  for  this 
vintage,  but  others  say  Vulcan's  holy  day.6 

A  third,  very  little  valued,  kind  of  honey  is  wild 
honey,  called  heath-honey.  It  is  collected  after  °f<naumn' 
the  first  autumn  rains,  when  only  the  heath  is  in 
flower  in  the  woods,  and  consequently  it  resembles 
sandy  honey.  It  is  produced  mostly  by  the  rise  of 
Arcturus  after  September  12.  Some  people  advance 
the  summer  honey-making  to  the  rise  of  Arcturns, 
since  that  leaves  fourteen  days  to  the  autumnal 
equinox,  and  in  the  forty-eight  days  from  the 
equinox  to  the  setting  of  the  Pleiads  heath  is  most 
plentiful.  The  Athenian  name  for  it  is  tetraUce,  and 

457 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

tetralicen1  appellant,  Euboea  sisyrum,  putantque 
apibus  esse  gratissimam,  fortassis  quia  tune  nulla  alia 
sit  copia.  haec  ergo  mellatio  fine  vindemiae  et 
Vergiliarum  occasu  idibus  Novembribus  fere  includi- 
tur.  relinqui  ex  ea  duas  partes  apibus  ratio  persuadet, 
et  semper  eas  partes  favorum  quae  habeant  erithacen. 

43  a  bruma   ad   Arcturi   exortum    diebus    LX    somno 
aluntur  sine  ullo  cibo ;  ab  Arcturi  exortu  ad  aequinoc- 
tium    vernum   tepidiore   tractu   iam    vigilant,    sed 
etiamnum  alvo  se  continent  servatosque  in  id  tempus 
cibos  repetunt.    in  Italia  vero  hoc  idem  a  Vergi- 

44  liarium   exortu  faciunt;    in  eum  dormiunt.      alvos 
quidam  in  eximendo  melle  expendunt,  it  a  diribentes 
quantum  relinquant.     aequitas  quidem  etiam  in  iis 
obstringitur,    feruntque    societate    fraudata    alvos 
mori.  in  primis  ergo  praecipitur  ut  lauti  purique 
eximant  mella ;   et  furfurem  2  mulierumque  menses 

45  odere.     cum    eximantur    mella,    apes    abigi    fumo 
utilissimum,  ne  irascantur  aut  ipsae  avide  vorent. 
fumo  crebriore  et  ignavia  earum  excitatur  ad  opera, 
nam  nisi  incubavere,  favos  lividos  faciunt.     rursus 
fumo  nimio  inficiuntur,  quando  iniuriam  celerrime 
sentiunt  mella  vel  minimo  contaqtu  roris  acescentia ; 
et  ob  id  inter  genera  servatur  quod  acapnum  vocant. 


1  edd.  ex  Theophrasto  :  tetradicen. 

2  Mueller :  furem  (faetorem  MayJioff). 


458 


BOOK  XI.  xv.  42-45 

the  Euboean  sisyrus,  and  they  believe  it  to  be  very- 
acceptable  to  bees,  perhaps  because  at  that  season 
there  is  no  other  supply  for  them.  Consequently 
this  honey-gathering  is  roughly  in  the  period  between 
the  end  of  vintage  and  the  setting  of  the  Pleiads  on 
November  13.  Reason  advises  leaving  two-thirds 
of  the  honey  then  procured  for  the  bees,  and  always 
the  parts  of  the.  combs  that  contain  bee-bread.  In  Hibernation 
the  sixty  days  from  midwinter  to  the  rising  of 
Arcturus  they  live  on  sleep,  without  any  food;  in 
the  warmer  period  from  the  rising  of  Arcturus  to  the 
spring  equinox  they  now  keep  awake,  but  still  keep 
inside  the  hive  and  have  recourse  to  the  food  kept 
for  this  time.  But  in  Italy  they  do  the  same  after 
the  rising  of  the  Pleiads,  sleeping  till  then.  Some  Method*  of 
people  in  taking  out  the  honey  weigh  the  hives,  so  i 
separating  the  amount  to  be  left  behind.  There  is 
indeed  a  bond  of  equity  even  in  the  case  of  bees, 
and  it  is  said  that  if  the  partnership  is  defrauded 
the  hives  perish.  Consequently  it  is  one  of  the  first 
rules  that  people  must  wash  themselves  clean  before 
they  take  the  honey;  also  bees  hate  scurf,  and 
women's  menstruation.  When  honey  is  being 
removed  it  is  very  useful  for  the  bees  to  be  driven 
away  by  smoke,  so  that  they  may  not  get  angry  or 
greedily  devour  it  themselves.  Also  denser  smoke 
is  employed  to  arouse  their  sloth  to  their  tasks,  for 
if  they  have  not  gone  on  incubating,  the  combs  they 
make  are  discoloured.  On  the  other  hand  excessive 
smoke  kills  them,  as  honey  very  quickly  undergoes 
deterioration  if  turned  sour  by  the  least  touch  of 
moisture;  and  for  this  reason  among  the  kinds  of 
honey  there  is  a  special  sort  called  by  the  Greek 
word  meaning  *  smokeless.* 

459 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

46  XVI.  Fetus  quonam  modo  progenerarent  magna 
inter  eruditos  et  subtilis  fait  quaestio;   apium  enim 
coitus  visus  est  numquam.    plures  existimavere  ore 
confingi  floribus  compositis  l  calami  2  atque  olivae  3 ; 
aliqui  coitu  unius,  qui  rex  in   quoque   appelletur 
examine;     hunc    esse    solum    marem,    praecipua 
magnitudine,  ne  fatiscat:    ideo  fetum  sine  eo  non 
edi,    apesque    reliquas    tamquam    marem    feminas 
comitari,  non  tamquam  ducem,     quam  probabilem 
alias  sententiam  fucorum  proventus  coarguit ;   quae 
enim  ratio  ut  idem  coitus  aliosperfectos,4inperfectos 

47  generet  alios  ?  propior  vero  prior  existimatio  fieret, 
ni  rursus  alia  difficultas  ocurreret :  quippe  nascuntur 
aliquando  in  extremis  favis  apes  grandiores  quae 
ceteras    fugant.    oestrus     vocatur    hoc     malum — 

48  quonam   modo    nascens    si   ipsae    fingunt?      quod 
certum   est,  gallinarum  modo  incubant.    id  quod 
exclusum   est   primo   vermiculus   videtur   candidus, 
iacens  transversus  adhaerensque  ita  ut  pars  cerae 
videatur.    rex  statim  mellei  colons,  ut  electo  flore  ex 
omni   copia   factus,   neque   vermiculus    sed   statim 
pinniger.    cetera  turba  cum  formam  capere  coepit, 

49  nymphae  vocantur,  ut  fuci  sirenes  aut  cephenes.     si 

1  v,L  compositas. 

2  calami  add.  pettefsen. 

3  olivae  ex  Aristotele  Dettefsen  :  utiliter. 
*  v.L  om.  alios  perfectos. 

a  Cf.  §  27  n. 
460 


BOOK  XL  xvi.  46-49 

XVI.  There  has  been  a  great  deal  of  minute  Reproduction 
enquiry  among  the  learned  as  to  the  manner  in  ^^ 
which  bees  reproduce  their  species;  for  sexual ««>• 
intercourse  among  them  has  never  been  observed. 
A  majority  of  authorities  have  held  the  view  that 
the  offspring  are  formed  in  the  mouth,  by  blending 
together  blossoms  of  the  reed  and  the  olive ;  some 
think  it  is  by  copulation  with  a  single  male  which  in 
each  swarm  is  called  the  king;  and  that  this  is  the 
only  male,  and  is  of  exceptional  size,  so  as  not  to 
grow  weary ;  and  that  consequently  offspring  is  not 
produced  without  him,  and  the  rest  of  the  bees 
accompany  him  as  women  accompany  a  husband, 
not  as  their  leader.  This  view,  though  probable  Selection  of 
on  other  grounds,  is  refuted  by  the  production  of^"r* kinff' 
drones ;  for  what  reason  can  there  be  why  the  same 
act  of  union  should  engender  some  perfect  offspring 
and  others  imperfect?  The  former  opinion  would 
be  nearer  to  the  truth,  were  it  not  that  again  another 
difficulty  meets  us :  it  is  a  fact  that  sometimes  larger 
bees  are  born  in  the  extremities  of  the  combs  which 
drive  away  all  the  rest.  This  mischievous  creature  is  varieties  of 
called  a  gadfly — being  born  in  what  possible  manner  if  ^fa*** 
the  female  bees  themselves  shape  it?  One  certain 
fact  is  that  they  sit  on  their  eggs  in  the  way  that  hens 
do.  The  offspring  hatched  at  first  looks  like  a  white 
maggot,  lying  crosswise  and  sticking  so  closely  to 
the  wax  that  it  seems  to  be  part  of  it.  The  king  is 
from  the  start  of  the  colour  of  honey,  as  if  made 
from  a  special  blossom  chosen  out  of  the  whole 
supply,  and  is  not  a  maggot  but  has  wings  from  the 
start.  The  remaining  throng  when  they  begin  to 
take  shape  are  called  pupae,  while  the  sham  ones  a  are 
called  sirens  or  drones.  If  anybody  takes  the  heads 

46* 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

quis  alterutris  capita  demat  priusquam  pennas  ha- 
beant ,  pro  gratissimo  sunt  pabnlo  matribus .  tempore 
procedente  instillant  cibos  atque  incubant,  turn 
maxime  murmuranteSj  caloris,  ut  putant,  faciendi 
gratia  necessarii  excludendis  pullis,  donee  ruptis 
membranis  quae  singulos  cingunt  ovorum  modo  uni- 
versum  agmen  emergat.  spectatum  hoc  Romae 
consularis  cuiusdam  suburbano  alvis  cornu  lanternae 

50  tralucido  factis.    fetus   intra   XLV   diem   peragitur. 
fit  in  fa  vis  quibusdam  qui  vocatur  clavus,  amarae 
duritia  cerae,  cum  fetum  inde  non  eduxere,  morbo 
aut   ignavia  aut  infecunditate  natural! ;    hie   est 
abortus  apium.    protinus   aut  em   educti   operantur 
quadam  disciplina  cum  matribus,  regemque  iuvenem 

51  aequalis  turba  comitatur.    reges  plures  inchoantur, 
ne  desint I ;  postea  ex  his  suboles  cum  adulta  esse 
coepit,   concorde   sufFragio    deterrimos   necant,   ne 
distrahant  agmina.    duo  autem  genera  eorum,  melior 
rufus,  deterior2  niger  'variusque.    omnibus   forma 
semper  egregia  et  duplo  quam  ceteris  maior,  pennae 
breviores,  crura  recta,  ingressus  celsior,  in  fronte  ma- 
cula quodam  diademate  candicans;    multum  etiam 
nitore  a  volgo  differunt. 

52  XVIL  Quaerat    nunc    aliquis,    unusne    Hercules 
fuerit  et  quot  Liberi  patres  et  reliqua  vetustatis  situ 

1  Hermolaus :  nee  destmt. 

2  Tufus  deterior  add.  Jan  (mfus  quam  Hermolaus). 
462 


BOOK  XL  xvr.  49-xvn.  52 

off  specimens  of  either  kind  before  they  have  wings, 
they  serve  as  very  acceptable  food  for  their  mothers. 
As  time  goes  on  they  give  them  drops  of  food  and  Hatching  of 
sit  on  them,  buzzing  more  than  at  any  other  time, grubs' 
with  the  object,-  it  is  thought,  of  producing  the 
warmth  needed  for  hatching  out  the  grubs,  until 
they  break  the  membranes  that  enclose  each  of  them 
like  eggshells  and  the  whole  band  emerges.  This 
was  observed  at  Rome  on  the  suburban  estate  of  a 
certain  ex-consul,  who  had  hives  made  of  the 
transparent  horn  of  a  lantern.  The  brood  grows  up 
in  about  six  weeks.  In  some  hives  what  is  called  a 
wart  is  formed,  a  hard  lump  of  bitter  wax,  when  the 
bees  have  not  produced  offspring  out  of  the  comb, 
owing  to  disease  or  sloth  or  natural  infertility ;  this 
is  the  bees'  form  of  abortidn.  But  as  soon  as  they 
are  hatched  out  they  get  to  work  with  their  mothers 
under  some  sort  of  tuition,  and  the  youthful  king  is 
escorted  by  a  retinue  of  his  peers.  Several  kings  section  of 
are  begun  to  be  produced,  so  that  there  may  not  be  &*"** king* 
a  lack  of  them ;  but  afterwards,  when  the  offspring 
sprung  from  these  has  begun  to  be  grown  up,  by  a 
unanimous  vote  they  kill  the  worst  of  them  so  that 
they  may  not  divide  up  the  forces.  They  are  of  two 
kindsy  the  better  sort  red  and  the  inferior  kind  black 
or  speckled.  All  of  them  are  always  exceptionally 
well-formed  and  twice  as  large  as  the  others ;  their 
wings  are  shorter,  their  legs  straight,  their  bearing 
more  lofty,  and  they  have  a  spot  on  their  brow  that 
shines  white  in  a  kind  of  fillet;  they  also  differ  from 
the  common  herd  a  great  deal  by  their  brilliant  colour. 

XVII.  Now   let   somebody   raise   the    questions  g 
whether  Hercules  was  one  person  and  how  many  His 
Father  Libers  there  were,  and  all  the  ot&er  puzxles 

463 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

obruta!  ecce  in  re  parva  villisque  nostris  adnexa, 
cuius  adsidue  copia  est,  non  const  at  inter  auctores, 
rex  nullumne  solus  habeat  aculeum  maiestate 
tantum  armatus,  an  dederit  quidem  euro,  natura,  sed 
usum  eius  illi  tantum  negaverit.  illud  constat, 

53  imperatorem  aculeo  non  uti.     mira  plebei  circa  eum 
obedientia.     cum  procedit,  una  est  totum  examen 
circaque  eum  globatur,  cingit,  protegit,  cerni  non 
patitur.    reliquo  tempore,  cum  populus  in  labore  est, 
ipse  opera  intus  circumdt,  similis  exhortanti,  solus 
immunis.     circa  eum  satellites  quidam  lictoresque 

54  adsidui   custodes   auctoritatis.    procedit   foras   non 
nisi  migraturo  examine ;  id  multo  intellegitur  ante, 
aliquot  diebus  murmur e  intus  strep ente,  apparatus 
indice  diem  tempestivum  eligentium.     si  quis  alam 
ei  detruncet,  non  fugiat  examen.     cum  processere, 
se  quaeque  proximam  illi  cupit  esse  et  in  officio 
conspici  gaudet;   fessum  umeris  sublevant,  validius 
fatigatum  ex  toto  portant.  si  qua  lassata  defecit  aut 
forte  aberravit,  odore  persequitur.    ubicumque  ille 
consedit,  ibi  cunctarum  castra  sunt. 

65      XVIII.  Tune  ostenta  faciunt  privata  ac  publica 
464 


BOOK  XI.  xvii.  52-xvin.  55 

buried  beneath  the  litter  of  antiquity !  Here  on  a 
trifling  matter  connected  with  our  own  country- 
houses,  a  thing  constantly  in  evidence,  there  is  no 
agreement  among  the  authorities — the  question 
whether  the  king  bee  alone  has  no  sting  and  is 
armed  only  with  the  grandeur  of  his  office,  or  whether 
nature  has  indeed  bestowed  one  upon  him  but  has 
merely  denied  him  the  use  of  it.  It  is  a  well 
established  fact  that  the  ruler  does  not  use  a  sting. 
The  commons  surround  him  with  a  marvellous 
obedience.  When  he  goes  in  procession,  the  whole 
swarm  accompanies  him  and  is  massed  around  him 
to  encircle  and  protect  him,  not  allowing  him  to  be 
seen.  During  the  rest  of  the  time,  while  the  people 
are  engaged  in  labour,  he  himself  goes  the  circuit 
of  the  works  inside,  with  the  appearance  of 
urging  them  on,  while  he  alone  is  free  from  duty. 
He  is  surrounded  by  certain  retainers  and  lictors  as 
the  constant  guardians  of  his  authority.  He  only 
issues  abroad  when  the  swarm  is  about  to  migrate ; 
intelligence  of  this  is  given  long  before,  as  a  buzzing 
noise  has  been  going  on  for  some  days  in  the  hive,  a 
sign  of  'their  preparation  while  they  are  selecting  a 
suitable  day.  If  anybody  should  cut  off  one  of  his 
wings,  the  swarm  would  not  run  away.  When  they 
have  started,  each  one  wants  to  be  next  him  and 
delights  to  be  seen  on  duty ;  when  he  is  tired  they 
support  him  with  their  shoulders,  and  carry  him 
entirely  if  he  is  more  completely  exhausted.  Any 
bee  that  falls  out  from  weariness  or  happens  to  stray 
from  the  main  body,  follows  on  by  scent..  Wherever 
the  king  alights  is  the  camping  place  of  the  whole 
body. 

XVIII.  Moreover  they  supply  private  and  public 

465 

VOL.  III.  H  H 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

uva  dependente  in  domibus  templisque,  saepe  ex- 
piata  magnis  eventibus.  sedere  in  ore  infantis  turn 
etiam  Ptatonis,  suavitatem  illam  praedulcis  eloquii 
portendentes  ;  sedere  in  castris  Drusi  imperatoris 
cum  prosperrime  pugnatum  apud  Arbalonem  est, 
haut  quaquam  perpetua  haruspicum  coniectura,  qui 

56  dirum  id  ostentum  existimant  semper,     duce  prenso 
totum  tenetur  agmen,  amisso  dilabitur  migratque 
ad  alios  ;  esse  utique  sine  rege  non  possunt.    invitae 
autem  interemunt  eos  cum  plures  fuere,  potlusque 
nascentium  domos  diruunt.    si  proventus  desperatur, 

57  tune  et  fucos  abigunt.     quamquam  et  de  his  video 
dubitari  propriumque  iis  genus  esse  aliquos  existi- 
mare,  sicut  furibus,  grandissimis  inter  illos  sed  nigris 
lataque   alvo,  ita   appellatis   quia  furtim   devorent 
mella.    certum  est  ab  apibus  fucos  interfici  ;  utique 
regem  non  habent  aequo  modo  x  ;    si  2  sine*  aculeo 
nascantur  in  quaestione  est. 

58  Umido   vere   melior   fetus,    sicco   mel   copiosius. 
quod  si  defecit  aliquas  alvos  cibus,  impetum  in  proxi- 
mas    faciunt    rapinae    proposito  ;     at    illae    contra 
dirigunt  aciem,  et  si  custos  adsit,  alterutra  pars  quae 
sibi  fa  vere  sensit  non  adpetit  eum.    ex  aliis  quoque 


1  aequo  modo  cum  praec.  edd.  :  et  CLUO  modo. 

2  si  add.  Jan. 


466 


BOOK  XL  xvm.  55-58 

portents  when  a  cluster  of  them  hangs  suspended  in  Portents 
houses  and  temples,  portents  that  have  often  been  f%£  ** 
expiated  by  great  events.    They  alighted  on  the 
mouth  of  Plato  even  when  he  was  still  an  infant, 
portending  the  charm  of  that  matchless  eloquence ; 
and    they    alighted    in    the    camp    of    General 
Drusus  on  the  occasion  of  the  very  successful  battle 
of  Arbalo — as  there  are  certainly  exceptions  to  the 
interpretation  of  the  augurs,  who  invariably  think 
this  a  direful  portent.    The  capture  of  the  leader  A  Mng 
holds  up  the  whole  body,  and  when  they  have  lost  l£fatpens~ 
him  they  separate  and  migrate  to  other  lords;  in 
any  case  they  are  unable  to  be  without  a  king. 
But  when  the  kings  have  become  too  numerous 
they  reluctantly  destroy  them,  and  by  preference 
they  destroy  their  homes  while  they  are  being  born. 
If  a  supply  of  honey  is  despaired  of,  then  they  even 
drive  away  the  drones.    Nevertheless  I  see  that  Function  of 
there  is  a  doubt  about  these  also,  and  that  some  drone** 
persons  think  them  to  form  a  breed  of  their  own, 
like  the  robber-bees,  the  largest  in  size  among  the 
drones  but  black  and  with  a  broad  belly,  which  have 
this  designation  because  they  steal  and  devour  the 
honey.    It  is  certain  that  the  drones  are  killed  by 
the  bees  *,  at  all  events  they  do  not  have  a  king  in 
the  same  way  as  the  other  bees  do ;  but  whether  they 
are  born  without  a  sting  is  a  doubtful  point. 

Bees  breed  better  in  a  damp  spring,  but  produce  #<w 
more  honey  in  a  dry  one.    If  there  is  a  dearth  of  yS£.9 
food  for  some  hives,  they  make  a  raid  on  their  *£&*°f 
neighbours  for  the  purpose  of  plunder ;  but  the  bees 
attacked  form  in  line  of  battle  to  resist,  and  if  the 
bee-keeper  is  present  whichever  side  thinks  that  he 
favours  it  does  not  attack  him.    They  also  often 

467 

HH2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

saepe  dimicant  causis,  duasque  acies  contrarias  duo 
imperatores  instruunt,  maxime  rixa  in  convehendis 
floribus  exorta  et  suos  quibusque  evocantibus ;  quae 
dimicatio  iniectu  pulveris  aut  fumo  tota  discutitur, 
reconciliatur  vero  lacte  vel  aqua  mulsa. 

59  XIX.  Apes  sunt  et  rusticae  silvestresque.   horridae 
aspectu,  multo  iracundiores,  sed  opere  ac  labore 
praestantes.     urbanarum     duo     genera:      optimae 
breves   variaeque   et   in   rotunditatem   conpactiles, 
deteriores  longae   et   quibus   similitudo   vesparum, 
etiamnum  deterrimae  ex  iis  pilosae.    in  Ponto  sunt 
quaedam  albae  quae  bis  in  mense  mella  faciunt; 
circa  Thermodontem  autem   fluvium   duo   genera, 
aliarum  quae  in  arboribus  mellificant,  aliarum  quae 
sub  terra  triplici  cerarum  ordine,  uberrimi  proventus. 

60  Aculeum  apibus  dedit  natura  ventri  consertum 
ad  unum  ictum;    hoc   infixo    quidam    eas   statim 
emori  putant,  aliqui  non  nisi  in  tantum  adacto  ut 
intestini  quippiam  sequatur3  sed  fucos  postea  esse 
nee  mella  facere  velut  castratis  viribus  pariterque 
et  nocere   et  prodesse  desinere.     est   in    exemplis 

61  equus  *  ab  iis  occisus.2  odere  foedos  odores  proculque 
fugiunt,  sed  et  fictos;    itaque  unguenta  redolentes 
infest  ant.    ipsae  plurimorum  animalium  iniuriis  ob- 


1  MayJwffi  equos. 

2  v.L  occisos. 


468 


BOOK  XL  xvni.  58-xxix.  61 

fight  battles  for  other  reasons,  and  form  in  two 
opposing  lines  under  two  commanders,  the  chief  - 
source  of  quarrel  arising  while  they  are  collecting 
flowers,  and  each  party  calling  out  their  friends; 
but  the  combat  can  be  entirely  scattered  by  some 
dust  being  thrown  on  it  or  by  smoke,  while  a 
reconciliation  can  be  effected  by  some  milk  or  water 
sweetened  with  honey. 

XIX.  There  are  also  wild  and  forest  bees,  which 
are  of  a  bristly  appearance,  and  are  much  more 
irascible  but  of  superior  industry  and  diligence.  be*s- 
Domesticated  bees  are  of  two  kinds ;  the  best  are 
short  and  speckled  and  of  a  compact  round  shape, 
and  the  inferior  ones  are  long  and  have  a  resemblance 
to  wasps,  and  also  the  worst  among  them  are  hairy. 
In  Pontus  there  is  a  white  kind  that  makes  honey 
twice  in  a  month;  and  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  the  river  Thermodon  there  are  two  kinds,  one  that 
makes  honey  in  trees  and  the  other  that  makes  it 
underground  in  a  threefold  arrangement  of  combs, 
and  is  most  lavishly  productive. 

Nature  has  given  bees  a  sting  attached  to  the  jfe«'  we  of 
stomach,  designed  for  a  single  blow ;  certain  persons stin5' 
think  that  when  they  have  planted  their  sting  they 
at  once  die,  while  some  hold  that  this  only  occurs  if 
it  is  driven  in  so  far  that  some  of  the  gut  follows  it, 
but  that  afterwards  the  bees  are  drones  and  do  not 
make  honey,  as  though  their  strength  had  been 
castrated,  and  they  cease  at  the  same  time  both  to 
hurt  and  to  benefit.  There  is  a  case  of  a  horse  being 
killed  by  bees.  Bees  hate  foul  smells  and  flee  far 
away  from  them,  even  those  not  due  to  natural 
causes;  consequently  they  attack  people  scented 
with  perfumes.  They  *  themselves  are  liable  to  bees. 

469 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

noxiae.  inpugnant  eas  naturae  eiusdern  degeneres 
vespae  atque  crabrones,  etiam  e  culicum  genere  qui 
vocantur  muliones,  populantur  hirundines  et  quaedam 
aliae  aves ;  insidiantur  aquantibus  ranae,  quae 
maxima  earum  est  operatic  turn  cum  subolem 

62  faciunt.     nee    eae    tantum    quae    stagna    rivosque 
obsident,  verum  et  rubetae  veniunt  ultro  adrepentes- 
que  foribus  per  eas  sufflant ;   ad  hoc  statio  provolat 
confestimque    abripitur;    nee   sentire   ictus    apium 
ranae  traduntur.    inimicae  et  oves  difficile  se  e  lanis 
earum   explicantibus.    cancrorum   etiam   odores   si 

-  quis  iuxta  coquat,  exanimantur. 

63  XX.  Quin    et    morbos    suapte    natura    sentiunt. 
index  eorum  tristitia  torpens,  et  cum  ante  fores  in 
teporem  solis  promotis  aliae  cibos  ministrant  et 1  cum 
defunctas  progerunt  funerantiumque  more  comitan- 
tur    exequias,     rege   ea  peste   consumpto   maeret 
plebes   ignavo    dolore,   non   cibos   convehens,   non 
procedens ;  tristi  tantum  murmure  glomeratur  circa 
corpus  eius.     subtrahitur  itaque  diductae  multitu- 
dini ;  alias  spectantes  exanimem  luctum  non  minuunt. 
tune    quoque,    ni    subveniatur,    fame     moriuntur. 
hilaritate  igitur  et  nitore  sanitas  aestimatur. 

64  Sunt  et  operis  morbi:    cum  favos  non  explent, 

1  et  add,.  EaclcTtam. 
470 


BOOK  XL  xxix.  6i-xx.  64 

injuries  from  very  many  creatures.  Wasps  and 
hornets  which  are  degenerate  species  of  the  same 
nature  attack  them,  as  also  do  the  species  of  gnat 
called  mule-flies.  Swallows  and  some  other  birds 
ravage  them.  Frogs  He  in  wait  for  them  when  they 
are  getting  water,  which  is  their  most  important 
task  at  the  period  when  they  are  producing  offspring. 
And  not  only  the  frogs  that  beset  ponds  and  rivers 
but  also  toads  come  of  their  own  accord  and  crawling 
up  to  the  doorways  blow  through  them ;  thereupon 
the  guard  flies  out  and  is  immediately  snapped  up ; 
and  it  is  said  that  frogs  do  not  feel  a  bee's  sting. 
Sheep  too  are  the  enemies  *of  bees,  which  with 
difficulty  disentangle  themselves  from  their  wool. 
Also  the  smell  of  crabs  being  boiled  near  them  is 
fatal  to  them. 

XX.  Moreover  bees  suffer  diseases  due  to  their  own  -0w«w«  of 
nature.  A  symptom  of  these  is  a  gloomy  torpidity, 
both  when  they  are  brought  out  before  the  doorway 
into  the  warmth  of  the  sun  and  food  is  served  to 
them  by  others  and  when  they  die  and  the  others 
carry  them  out  and  escort  their  obsequies  in  the 
manner  of  persons  conducting  a  funeral.  When  this 
pestilence  carries  off  the  king  the  commons  mourn 
with  abject  grief,  not  collecting  food  and  not  going 
out  of  the  hive ;  they  only  mass  themselves  round 
his  body  with  a  sorrowful  buzzing.  Consequently 
the  throng  is  separated  and  he  is  taken  away  from 
it ;  otherwise  they  keep  gazing  at  his  lifeless  body 
and  never  stop  mourning.  Then  also,  unless  help  is 
brought  to  them,  they  die  of  hunger.  Consequently 
their  health  is  judged  by  their  gaiety  and  bright- 
ness. 

There  are  also  diseases  that  affect  their  work: 

471 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

claron    vocant,    item    blapsigonian    si    fetum    non 
peragant. 

65  XXI.  Inimica    et    echo    est   resultanti    sono    qui 
pavidas    alterno   pulset   ictu;     inimica    et   nebula, 
aranei  quoque  vel  maxime  hostiles  :  cum  praevaluere 
ut    intexant,    enecant    alvos.    papilio    etiam,    hie 1 
ignavus  et  inhonoratus  luminibus  accensis  advolitans, 
pestifer,  nee  uno  modo,  nam  et  ipse  ceras  depascitur 
et   relinquit   excrementa   e    quibus   teredines   gig- 
mmtur;    fila   etiam  araneosa,  quacumque  incessit, 

66  alarum  maxime  lanugine  obtexit.     nascuntur  et  in 
ipso  ligno  teredines  quae  ceras  praecipue  adpetunt. 
infestat  et  aviditas  pastus,  nimia  florum  satietate 
verno  maxume  tempore  alvo  cita.    oleo  quidem  non 
apes  tantum  sed  omnia  insecta  exanimantur3  praeci- 

67  pue  si  capite  uncto  in  sole  ponantur.     aliquando  et 
ipsae  contrahunt  mortis  sibi  causas,   cum  sensere 
eximi  mella,  avide  vorantes,  cetero  praeparcae  et 
quae  alioqui  prodigas  atque  edaces   non   secus   ac 
pigras  et  ignavas  proturbent.    nocent  et  sua  mella 
ipsis,  inlitaeque  ab  aversa    parte    moriuntur,     tot 
hostibus,  tot  casibus — et  quotam  portionem  eorum 
commemoro  ? — tarn  munificum  animal  expositum  est* 
remedia  dicemus  suis  locis;    nunc  enim  sermo  de 
natura  est. 

1  Me  om.  v.l. 

a  The  disease  now  called  '  foul  brood.* 
6  Papilio  includes  moths;   here  it  means  the  pipe-moth 
which,  breeds  in  bee-hives. 

47* 


BOOK  XL  xx.  64-xxi.  67 

when  they  do  not  fill  the  combs  full,  it  is  called  claron, 
and  blapsigonia  a  if  they  do  not  bring  their  offspring 
to  maturity. 

XXI.  Also  an  echo  is  detrimental  to  bees  with  its  Enemies  of 
repercussion  that  alarms  them  by  striking  them  with  ^langers^ 
an  alternating  blow;  fog  too  is  detrimental.  Also 
spiders  are  in  the  highest  degree  hostile;  when 
they  have  succeeded  in  weaving  a  web  over  the 
combs  they  kill  the  grubs.  Even  the  moth,6  that 
cowardly  and  ignoble  creature  that  flutters  up  to 
lamps  when  they  are  lit,  brings  disaster,  and  not  in 
one  way  only,  for  it  both  devours  the  combs  itself  and 
leaves  excrement  from  which  grubs  are  produced; 
also  wherever  it  walks  it  weaves  a  covering  of  cobwebs 
chiefly  made  from  the  down  on  its  wings.  Moreover 
moths  are  born  in  the  wood  itself  that  specially 
attack  the  combs.  And  another  bane  is  their  greed 
for  food,  as  their  belly  is  moved,  specially  in  the 
spring  time,  by  their  devouring  a  surfeit  of  flowers. 
Olive  oil  indeed  kills  not  only  bees  but  all  insects, 
especially  if  they  are  placed  in  the  sun  after  their 
head  has  been  anointed.  Sometimes  also  they 
themselves  cause  their  own  death,  by  greedily 
devouring  ^honey  when  they  perceive  that  it  is  being 
taken  away,  whereas  normally  they  are  extremely 
thrifty  and  make  a  practice  of  driving  away  wasteful 
and  greedy  bees  just  the  same  as  lazy  and  slothful 
ones.  Also  their  own  honey  is  noxious  to  them,  and 
if  it  is  smeared  on  their  backs  they  die.  To  so  many 
foes  and  so  many  disasters — and  how  small  a  fraction 
of  them  I  am  recounting ! — is  this  beneficent  creature 
exposed.  The  remedies  we  will  speak  of  in  their 
proper  places ;  for  at  present  we  are  discussing  their 
nature. 

473 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

68  XXII.  Gaudent  plausu  atque  tinnitu  aeris,  eoque 
convocantur;    quo  manifestum  est  auditus  quoque 
inesse  sensum.    effecto  opere,  educto  fetu,  functae 
munere    omni    exercitationem    tamen    sollemnem 
habent,  spatiataeque  in  aperto  et  in  altum  elatae, 
gyris  volatu  editis,  turn  demum  ad  cibum  redeunt. 

69  vita  iis  longissima,  ut  prospere  inimica  ac  fortuita 
cedant,  septenis  annis.    universas  1  alvos  numquam 
ultra    decem    annos    durasse    proditur.     sunt    qui 
mortuas,  si  intra  tectum  hieme  serventur,  dein  sole 
verno  torreantur  ac  ficulneo  cinere  tepido  foveantur, 

70  putent  revivescere ;   XXIII.  in  totum  vero  amissas 
reparari    ventribus    bubulis    recentibus    cum    fimo 
obrutas,2  Vergilius  iuvencorum  corpore  exanimato, 
sicut  equorum  vespas  atque  crabrones,  sicut  asino- 
rum  scarabaeos,  mutante  natura  ex  aliis  quaedam 
in  alia,    sed  horum  omnium  coitus   cernuntur,   et 
tamen  in  fetu  eadem  prope  natura  quae  apibus. 

71  XXIV.  Vespae  in  sublimi  e  luto  nidos  faciunt,  in 
his  ceras;    crabrones  cavernis  aut  sub  terra;    et 
horum  omnium  sexangulae  cellae,  cerae^  autem  e 
cortice,  araneosae.    fetus  ipse  inaequalis  et 3  varius,4 
alius  evolat,  alius  in  nympha  est,  alius  in  vermiculo ; 
et  autumno,  non  vere,  omnia  ea.    plenilunio  maxime 

72  crescunt.    vespae    quae    ichneumones    vocantur — 

1  Madvig  :  universa.  a  Mayhoff  ?  :  obrutis. 

'^.tit. 

*  Detlefsen :  barbarus  aut  barbaris. 

«  Oeorgics  IV  284  ff. 
474 


BOOK  XL  xxii.  68~xxiv.  72 
XXII.  They  delight  in  the  clash  and  clang  of  Noises  to 

i  iTiiTii          ,«.  i  •  -L  summon 

bronze,  and  collect  together  at  its  summons ;  which  bees. 
shows  that  they  also  possess  the  sense  of  hearing. 
When  their  work  is  done  and  their  brood  reared, 
though  they  have  accomplished  all  their  duty  they 
nevertheless  have  a  ritual  exercise  to  perform,  and 
they  range  abroad  in  the  open  and  soar  on  high, 
tracing  circles  in  flight,  and  only  when  this  is  finished 
do  they  return  to  take  food.  Their  life  at  longest,  Life 
granted  that  hostile  attacks  and  accidents  arel 
encountered  successfully,  lasts  seven  years.  It  l&  of  dead  bee*. 
stated  that  the  hives  have  never  lasted  in  then- 
entirety  beyond  ten  years.  Some  people  think  that 
dead  bees  come  to  life  again  if  they  are  kept  indoors 
in  winter  and  then  exposed  to  the  heat  of  the  sun 
in  spring  and  kept  warm  with  hot  fig-wood  ashes; 
XXIII.  but  that  when  entirely  lost  they  can  be 
restored  by  being  covered  with  fresh  ox-paunches 
together  with  mud,  or  according  to  Virgil c  with  the 
dead  body  of  bullocks,  just  as  wasps  and  hornets  are 
brought  to  life  from  horses'  bodies  and  beetles  from 
those  of  asses,  since  nature  can  change  some  things 
from  one  kind  into  another.  But  all  these  creatures 
are  seen  to  pair,  and  nevertheless  their  offspring 
possess  almost  the  same  nature  as  that  of  bees. 

XXIV.  Wasps  make  their  nests  high  up,  of  mud, 
and  in  them  make  cells  of  wax ;  hornets  make  them 
in  caverns  or  underground;  all  of  these  have 
hexagonal  cells,  and  make  their  combs  of  bark,  like 
spiders'  webs.  *  The  actual  offspring  are  not  uniform 
but  vary — one  flies  out  while  another  is  in  the  pupa 
and  another  in  the  grub ;  and  all  of  these  stages  are 
in  the  autumn,  not  the  spring.  They  grow  chiefly  at 
full  moon.  The  wasps  caHed  ichneumon-flies — they 

475 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

sunt  autem  minores  quam  aliae— unum  genus  ex 
araneis  peremunt  phalangium  appellatum  et  in 
nidos  suos  ferunt,  deinde  inlinunt  et  ex  his  incubando 
suum  genus  procreant.  praeterea  omnes  carne 
vescuntur  contra  quam  apes  quae  nullum  corpus 
attingunt.  sed  vespae  muscas  grandiores  venantur 
amputatoque  iis  capite  reliquom  corpus  auferunt. 

73  Crabronum  silvestres  in  arborum  cavernis  degunt, 
hi  erne  ut  cetera  insecta  conduntur,  vita  bimatum 
non  transit,    ictus  eorum  haud  temere  sine  febri 
est.    auctores    sunt    ter    novenis    punctis    interfici 
hominem.    aliorum  qui  mitiores  videntur  duo  genera : 
opifices,  minores  corpore,  qui  moriuntur  hi  erne,  matres 

74  quae  biennio  durant;  hi  et  clementes.     nidos  vere 
faciunt  fere  quadrifores,  in  quibus  opifices  generentur. 
his  eductis  alios  deinde  maiores  nidos   fingunt,  in 
quibus  matres  futuras  iam  producant.    turn  x  opifices 
funguntur  munere   et  pascunt  eas.     latior  matrum 
species,  dubiumque  an  habeant  aculeos,  quia  non 
egrediuntur.     et   his   sui   fuel,     quidam    opinantur 
omnibus    his    ad    hiemem    decidere    aculeos.    nee 
crabronum  autem  nee  vesparum  generi  reges  aut 
examina,  sed  subinde  renovatur  multitudo  subole. 

75  XXV.  Quartum  inter  haec  genus  est  bombycum, 
in  Assyria  proveniens,  maius  quam  supra  dicta,   nidos 
luto   fingunt   salis   specie,   adplicatos   lapidi,   tanta 
dtiritia   ut   spiculis   perforari  vix   possint.     in    his 

1  MayJioff  (?) :  producant.    iam  turn. 

a  Three  times  three  times  three  is  of  course  a  magic  number. 
476 


BOOK  XL  xxiv.  72-xxv.  75 

are  smaller  than  the  others — kill  one  kind  of  spider 
called  phalangium  and  carry  them  to  their  nests  and 
then  smear  them  over,  and  from  these  by  incubating 
produce  their  own  species.  Moreover  they  all  feed 
on  flesh,  contrary  to  bees  which  never  touch  a  body. 
But  wasps  hunt  larger  flies  and  after  cutting  off 
their  heads  carry  away  the  rest  of  the  body. 

The  forest  variety  of  hornets  live  in  hofiow  trees,  Hornet*. 
hibernating  in  winter  like  the  rest  of  insects ;  they 
do  not  live  beyond  the  age  of  two.  Their  sting  is 
rarely  not  followed  by  fever.  Some  authorities  state 
that  twenty-seven  a  hornet-stings  will  kill  a  human 
being.  Another  kind  that  seems  less  fierce  has  two 
classes — workers,  smaller  in  size,  which  die  in  winter, 
and  mothers,  which  last  two  years:  these  are  not 
fierce  at  all.  They  make  nests  in  spring,  usually  with 
four  entrances,  in  which  to  breed  the  workers.  When 
these  have  been  reared,  they  then  make  other  larger 
nests,  in  which  they  may  now  produce  those  who  are 
to  be  mothers.  Then  the  workers  begin  to  function, 
and  feed  the  mothers.  The  mothers  are  of  a  wider 
shape,  and  it  is  doubtful  whether  they  possess  stings, 
because  they  do  not  come  out.  These  also  have 
their  drones.  Some  people  hold  the  view  that  all 
these  insects  lose  their  stings-  towards  winter, 
Neither  the  hornet  nor  the  wasp  kind  have  kings, 
nor  do  they  swarm,  but  their  numbers  are  continually 
renewed  by  offspring. 

XXV.  Among  these  is  a  fourth  genus,  the  silk-  Tfow- 
moth,  which  occurs  in  Assyria;   it  is  larger  than  the  ^^y 
kinds  mentioned  above.    Silk-moths  make  their  nests  reproduction. 
of  mud  like  a  sort  of  salt ;  they  are  attached  to  a 
stone,  and  are  so  hard  that  they  can  scarcely  be 
pierced  with  javelins.    In  these  nests  they  make 

477 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

ceras   largius    quam    apes    faciunt,    dein   maiorem 
vermiculum. 

76  XXVI.  Et  alia  hortim  origo.     ex  grandiore  vermi- 
culo  gemina  protendens  sui  generis  cornua  primum  a 
urica  fit,  dein  quod  vocatur  bombylis,  ex  ea  necy- 
dallus,   ex   hoc   in   sex    mensibus    bombyx.     telas 
araneorum    modo    texunt    ad    vestem    luxumque 
feminarum,  quae  bombycina  appellatur.    prima  eas 
redordiri  rursusque  texere  invenit  in   Coo  mulier 
Pamphile,  Plateae  filia,  non  fraudanda  gloria  ex- 
cogitatae  rationis  ut  denudet  feminas  vestis. 

77  XXVII.  Bombycas  et  in  Coo  insula  nasci  tradunt, 
cupressi,  terebinthi,  fraxini,  quercus  florem  imbribus 
decussum    terrae    halitu    animante.     fieri     autem. 
primo  papiliones  parvos  nudosque,   mox  frigorum 
inpatientia  villis  inhorrescere  et  adversus  hiemem 
tunicas   sibi   instaurare   densas,   pedum    asperitate 
radentes  foliorum  lanuginem,  in  vellera  hanc  ab  iis 
cogi   subigique   unguium  carminatione,   mox   trahi 
in  tramas,2  tenuari  ceu  pectine,  postea  adprehensam 

78  corpori  involvi  nido  volubili.    turn  ab  homine  tolli 
fictilibusque  in3  vasis  tepore  et  furfurum  esca  nutriri, 
atque  ita  subnasci  sui  generis  plumas,  quibus  vestitos 
ad  alia  pensa  dimitti.   quae  vero  carpta  4  sint  lanicia  5 
umore  lentescere,  mox  in  fila  tenuari  iunceo  fuso. 

1  Hardouin :  cornuum. 

2  Jan  :  inter  r&mos. 

3  in  add.  ?  Mayhoff. 

4  Detlefsen :  oapta. 

5  Jan :  lanifica  aut  lanificia. 

478 


BOOK  XL  xxv.  75-xxvn.  78 

combs  on  a  larger  scale  than  bees  do,  and  then 
produce  a  bigger  grub. 

XXVI.  These  creatures  are  also  produced  in  invention  of 
another  way.  A  specially  large  grub  changes  into"1*' 
a  caterpillar  with  two  projecting  horns  of  a  peculiar 
kind,  and  then  into  what  is  called  a  cocoon,  and  this 
turns  into  a  chrysalis  and  this  in  six  months  into  a 
silk-moth.  They  weave  webs  like  spiders,  producing 
a  luxurious  material  for  women's  dresses,  called  silk 
The  process  of  unravelling  these  and  weaving  the 
thread  again  was  first  invented  in  Cos  by  a  woman 
named  Pamphile,  daughter  of  Plateas,  who  has  the 
undeniable  distinction  of  having  devised  a  pkn  to 
reduce  women's  clothing  to  nakedness. 

XXVIL  Silk-moths  are  also  reported  to  be  born  in  The  Com 
the  island  of  Cos,  where  vapour  out  of  the  ground  industry. 
creates  life  in  the  blossom  of  the  cypress,  terebinth, 
ash  and  oak  that  has  been  stripped  off  by  rain.  First 
however,  it  is  said,  small  butterflies  are  produced 
that  are  bare  of  down,  and  then  as  they  cannot  endure 
the  cold  they  grow  shaggy  tufts  of  hair  and  equijp 
themselves  with  thick  jackets  against  winter,  scraping 
together  the  down  of  leaves  with  the  roughness  of 
their  feet;  this  is  compressed  by  them  into  fieeees 
and  worked  over  by  carding  with  their  claws,  and 
then  drawn  out  into  woof-threads,  and  thinned  out  as 
if  with  a  comb,  and  afterwards  taken  hold  of  and 
wrapped  round  their  body  in  a  coiled  nest.  Then 
(they  say)  they  are  taken  away  by  a  man,  put  in 
earthenware  vessels  and  reared  with  warmth  and  a 
diet  of  bran,  and  so  a  peculiar  kind  of  feathers 
sprout  out,  clad  with  which  they  are  sent  out  to 
other  tasks ;  but  tufts  of  wool  plucked  off  are  softened 
with  moisture  and  then  thinned  out  into  threads  with 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

nee  puduit  has  vestes  usurpare  etiam  viros  levitatem 
propter  aestivam :  in  tantum  a  lorica  gerenda  disces- 
sere  mores  ut  oneri  sit  etiam  vestis.  Assyria  tamen 
bombyce  adhuc  feminis  cedimus. 

79  XXVIII.  Araneorum  his  non  absurde  iungatur 
natura  digna  vel  praecipua  admiratione.  plura 
autem  sunt  genera  nee  dictu  necessaria  in  tanta 
notitia.  phalangia  ex  iis  appellantur  quorum  noxii 
morsus,  corpus  exiguum,  varium,  acuminatum, 
adsultim  ingredientium.  altera  eorum  species  nigri 
prioribus  cruribus  longissimis.  omnibus  internodia 

80  terna  in  cruribus.     luporum  minimi'   non    texunt; 
maiores  in  terra,  et  cavernis  exigua  vestibula  praepan- 
dunt.     tertium  eorundem  genus  erudita  operatione 
conspicuum;   orditur  telas  tantique  operis  materiae 
uterus  ipsius  sufficit,  sive  ita  corrupta  alvi  natura 
stato  tempore,  ut  Democrito  placet,  sive  est  quaedam 
intus    lanigera    fertilitas:     tarn    moderato    ungue, 
tarn   tereti   filo    et   tarn   aequali    deducit   stamina, 

81  ipso  se  pondere  usus.    texere  a  medio  incipit  cir- 
cinato  orbe  subtemina  adnectens,  maculasque  paribus 
semper    intervallis    sed    subinde    crescentibus     ex 
angusto  dilatans  indissolubili  nodo  inplicat.     quanta 
arte    celat    pedicas    scutulato 1    rete    grassantes ! 

1  v.l.  a  scutulato. 

a  The  legs  have  three  pieces,  internodia, 
b  Aristotle  Hist.  An.  ix  39,  623a  30;  Aristotle  adopts  the 
alternative  view  here  given. 

480 


BOOK  XL  xxvn.  78-xxvm.  81 

a  rush  spindle.  Nor  have  even  men  been  ashamed  to 
make  use  of  these  dresses,  because  of  their  lightness 
in  summer:  so  far  have  our  habits  departed  from 
wearing  a  leather  cuirass  that  even  a  robe  is  con- 
sidered a  burden !  All  the  same  we  so  far  leave  the 
Assyrian  silk-moth  to  women. 

XXVIII.  To  these  may  be  not  ineptly  joined  the 
nature  of  spiders,  which  deserves  even  exceptional 
admiration.  There  are  several  kinds  of  spiders, 
but  they  need  not  be  described,  as  they  are  so  well 
known.  The  name  of  phalangium  is  given  to  a 
kind  of  spider  that  has  a  harmful  bite  and  a  small 
body  of  variegated  colour  and  pointed  shape,  and 
advances  by  leaps  and  bounds.  A  second  species 
of  spider  is  black,  with  very  long  fore  legs.  All 
spiders  have  legs  with  two  joints.0  Of  the  wolf- 
spiders  the  smallest  do  not  weave  a  web,  but  the 
larger  ones  live  in  the  ground  and  spin  tiny  ante- 
rooms in  front  of  their  holes.  A  third  kind  of  the 
same  species  is  remarkable  for  its  scientific  method 
of  construction ;  it  sets  up  its  warp-threads,  and  its 
own  womb  suffices  to  supply  the  material  needed 
for  this  considerable  work,  whether  because  the 
substance  of  its  intestines  is  thus  resolved  at  a  fixed 
time,  as  Democritus  holds,&  or  because  it  has  inside 
it  some  power  of  producing  wool :  with  such  careful 
use  of  its  claw  and  such  a  smooth  and  even  thread  it 
spins  the  warp,  employing  itself  as  a  weight.  It 
starts  weaving  at  the  centre,  twining  in  the  woof  in 
a  circular  round,  and  entwists  the  meshes  in  an 
unloosable  knot,  spreading  them  out  at  intervals 
that  are  always  regular  but  continually  grow  less 
narrow.  How  skilfully  it  conceals  the  snares  that 
lurk  in  its  checkered  net!  How  unintentional 

481 

VOL.  III.  1 1 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

quam  non  ad  hoc  videtur  pertinere  crebratae  pexitas 
telae  et  quadam  politurae  arte  ipsa  per  se  tenax 
ratio  tramae!  quam  laxus  ad  flatus  ad1  non  res- 

82  puenda    quae    veniant    sinus !     derelicta    a 2    lasso 
praetendi    summa    parte    arbitrere    licia:     at    ilia 
difficile  cernuntur  atque  ut  in  plagis  lineae  offensae 
praecipitant  in  sinum.    specus  ipse  qua  concamaratur 
architectura !     et    contra  frigora  quanto  3  villosior ! 
quam  remotus    a   medio   aliudque    agentis   similis, 
inclusus  vero  sic  ut  sit  necne  intus  aliquis  cerni  non 

83  possit!     age    firmitas,    quando  rumpentibus  ventis, 
qua  pulverum  mole  degravante  ?  latitude  telae  saepe 
inter   duas   arbores,  cum   exercet    artem    et    discit 
texere,  longitude  fili  a  cacumine,4  ac  rursus  a  terra 
per  illud  ipsum  velox  reciprocatio,  subitque  pariter  ac 
fila  deducit.  cum  vero  captura  incidit,  quam  vigilans 
et  paratus  accursus !   licet  extrema  haereat   plaga, 
semper  in  medium  currit,  quia  sic  maxime  totum 

84  concutiendo    implicat.     scissa    protinus    reficit    ad 
polituram    sarciens.     ranarumque 5    et    lacertarum 
catulos  venantur  os  primum  tela  involventes  et  tune 
demum  labra  utraque  morsu  adprehendentes,  amphi- 
theatrali   spectaculo  cum  contigit.     sunt  ex  eo  et 
auguria:    quippe  incremento  amnium  futuro  telas 

1  ad  edd.  vet :  ac. 

2  a  add.  Rackham. 

3  edd.  :  quando. 

4  DeUe/sen  :  acumine  (a  culmine  edd.). 
6  Mayhoff  ?  c/.  Ar. :  namque. 

482 


BOOK  XL  xxvm.  81-84 

appears  to  be  the  density  of  the  close  warp  and  the 
plan  of  the  woof,  rendered  by  a  sort  of  scientific 
smoothing  automatically  tenacious  1  How  its  bosom 
bellies  to  the  breezes  so  as  not  to  reject  things  that 
come  to  it !  You  might  think  the  threads  had  been 
left  by  a  weary  weaver  stretching  in  front  at  the  top ; 
but  they  are  difficult  to  see,  and,  like  the  cords  in 
hunting-nets,  when  the  quarry  comes  against  them 
throw  it  into  the  bosom  of  the  net.  With  what 
architectural  skill  is  the  vaulting  of  the  actual  cave 
designed!  and  how  much  more  hairy  it  is  made,  to 
give  protection  against  cold !  How  distant  it  is  from 
the  centre,  and  how  its  intention  is  concealed, 
although  it  is  really  so  roofed  in  that  it  is  impossible 
to  see  whether  somebody  is  inside  or  not !  Then  its 
strength — when  is  it  broken  by  the  winds?  what 
quantity  of  dust  weighs  it  down  ?  When  the  spider 
is  practising  its  art  and  learning  to  weave,  the 
breadth  of  the  web  often  reaches  between  two  trees 
and  the  length  of  the  thread  stretches  down  from 
the  top  of  the  tree  and  there  is  a  quick  return  right 
up  the  thread  from  the  ground,  and  the  spider  goes 
up  and  brings  down  the  threads  simultaneously. 
But  when  a  catch  falls  into  the  web,  how  watchfully 
and  alertly  it  runs  to  it !  although  it  may  be  clinging 
to  the  edge  of  the  net,  it  always  runs  to  the  middle, 
because  in  that  way  it  entangles  the  prey  by  shaking 
the  whole.  When  the  web  is  torn  it  at  once  restores 
it  to  a  finished  condition  by  patching  it.  And  spiders 
actually  hunt  young  frogs  and  lizards,  first  wrapping 
up  their  mouth  with  web  and  then  finally  gripping 
both  lips  with  their  jaws,  giving  a  show  worthy  of  the 
amphitheatre  when  it  comes  off.  Also  auguries  ^e 
obtained  from  the  spider:  for  instance,  when  the 

4% 
n2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

suas  altius  tollunt;  idem  sereno  texunt,1  nubilo 
retexuntj2  ideoque  multa  aranea  imbrium  signa  sunt. 
feminam  putant  esse  quae  texat,  marem  qui  venetur ; 
ita  paria  fieri  merita  coniugio. 

85  XXIX.  Aranei  conveniunt  clunibus,  pariunt  ver- 
miculos  ovis  similes — nam  nee  horum,  differri  potest 
genitura,   quoniam  inseclorum  vix  ulla  alia  ratio  3 
est ;   pariunt  autem  omnia  in  tela,  set  sparsa,  quia 
saliunt  atque  ita  emittunt.    phalangia  tantum  in 
ipso    specu   incubant   magnum   numerum    qui,    ut 
emersit,  matrem  consumit,  saepe  et  patrem,  adiuvat 
enim  incubare.     pariunt  autem  et  tricenos,  ceterae 
pauciores;      et    incubant    triduo.     consummantur 
aranei  quater  septenis  diebus. 

86  XXX.  Similiter  his  et  scorpiones  terrestres  ver- 
miculos  ovorum  specie  pariunt  similiterque  pereunt, 
pestis    inportuna,    veneni    serpentium    nisi    quod 
graviore  supplicio  lenta  per  triduum  morte  conficiunt, 
virginibus  letali  semper  ictu  et  feminis  fere  in  totum, 
viris    autem    matutino,    exeuntes    cavernis,    prius- 
quam  aliquo  fortuito  ictu  ieiunum  egerant  venenum. 

87  semper  cauda  in  ictu  est  nulloque  momento  meditari 
cessat,  ne  quando  desit  occasioni;    ferit  et  obliquo 
ictu  et  inflexo.    venenum  ab  his  candidum  fundi 

1  v.L  retexunt.  2  MayJwff ;  texunt. 

3  Mayhoff :  narratio. 

484 


BOOK  XL  xxviii.  84-xxx.  87 

rivers  are  going  to  rise  they  raise  their  webs  higher ; 
also  they  weave  their  web  in  fine  weather  and  reweave 
it  in  cloudy  weather,  and  consequently  a  number  of 
spiders'  webs  is  a  sign  of  rain.  People  think  that  it 
is  the  female  that  weaves  and  the  male  that  hunts, 
and  that  thus  the  married  pair  do  equal  shares  of 
service. 

XXIX.  Spiders  couple  with  the  haunches,  and  Reproduction 
produce  grubs  resembling  eggs — for  their  mode  of  °f*ptdfr*' 
reproduction  also  must  not  be  deferred,  as  insects 

have  scarcely  any  other  method ;  and  they  lay  them 
all  into  their  webs,  but  scattered,  because  they  jump 
about  and  lay  them  in  the  process.  The  phalangium 
spiders  only  incubate  in  the  actual  cave  a  large 
number  of  grubs  which  when  hatched  out  devour  the 
mother,  and  often  the  father  too,  for  he  helps  to 
incubate.  They  produce  broods  of  as  many  as  three 
hundred,  whereas  all  the  other  kinds  produce  fewer ; 
and  they  sit  on  the  eggs  three  days.  They  take 
four  weeks  to  become  foil-grown  spiders. 

XXX.  Land  scorpions  also  like  spiders  produce  Lmd 
grubs  resembling  eggs  and  die  in  the  same  way  as 
spiders;  they  are  a  horrible  plague,  poisonous  like 
snakes,  except  that  they  inflict  a  worse  torture  by 
despatching  the  victim  with  a  lingering  death  lasting 
three  days,  their  wound  being  always  fatal  to  girls 
and  almost  absolutely  so  to  women,  but  to  men  only 

in  the  morning,  when  they  are  coming  out  of  their 
holes,  before  they  emit  their  yet  unsated  poison  by 
some  accidental  stroke.  Their  tail  is  always  en- 
gaged in  striking  and  does  not  stop  practising  at 
any  moment,  lest  it  should  ever  miss  an  opportunity ; 
it  strikes  both  a  sideway  stroke  and  one  with  the 
tail  bent  up.  Apollodorus  states  that  these  insects 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

Apollodorus  auctor  est  in  novem  genera  discriptis  per 
colores  maxime,  opere  supervacuo,1  quondam  non 
est  scire  quos  minime  exitiales  praedixerit ;  geminos 
quibusdam  aculeos  esse,  maresque  saevissimos — 
nam  coitum  iis  tribuit — intellegi  autem  gracilitate 

88  et  longitudine;    venenum  omnibus  medio  die  cum 
incanduere  soils  ardoribus,  itemque  cum  sitiunt  in- 
explebile  potus.    constat  et  septena  caudae  inter- 
nodia  saeviorum2  esse;   pluribus  enim    sena    sunt. 
hoc  malum   Africae   volucre   etiam    austri    faciunt 
pandentibus  bracchia  ut  remigia  sublevantes ;  Apol- 
lodorus idem  plane  quibusdam  inesse  pinnas  tradit. 

89  saepe  Psylli,  qui  reliquarum   venena  terrarum  in- 
vehentes  quasi  quaestus  sui  causa  peregrinis  malis 
implevere    Italiam,   hos    quoque   importare    conati 
sunt,  sed  vivere  intra  Siculi  caeli  regionem  non 
potuere.     visuntur  tamen  aliquando  in  Italia,  sed 
innocui,  multisque  aliis  in  locis  ut  circa  Pharum  in 

90  Aegypto.    in  Scythia  interemunt  etiam  sues  alio- 
quin  vivaciores  contra  venena  talia,  nigras  quidem 
celerius,  si  in  aquam  se  inmerserint.    homini  icto 
putatur  esse  remedio  ipsorum  cinis  potus  in  vino, 
magnam    adversitatem  oleo  mersis   et   stellionibus 
putant  esse,  innocuis  dumtaxat  iis,  qui  et  ipsi  carent 
sanguine,  lacertarum  figura ;    aeque  8  scorpiones  in 

1  Mayhoff(?) :  maxime  supervacuos. 
2  Mayhoff  (?) :  saeviora.  3  Mayhoff  :  atque, 

a  Lit.   c  with  seven  bones  intermediate  between  joints,' 
vertebrae. 

fr  I.e.  in  a  more  northerly  climate  than  that  of  Sicily. 
486 


BOOK  XI.  xxx.  87-90 

emit  a  white  poison,  and  he  divides  them  into 
nine  kinds,  chiefly  by  their  colours,  a  superfluous 
task,  since  he  does  not  let  us  know  which  he  pro- 
nounces to  be  the  least  deadly.  He  says  that  some 
have  a  pair  of  stings,  and  that  the  males  are  fiercest — 
for  he  attributes  coupling  to  these  creatures — but 
that  they  can  be  recognized  by  their  long  slender 
shape ;  and  that  all  are  poisonous  at  midday,  when 
they  have  got  hot  from  the  warmth  of  the  sun,  and 
also  that  when  they  are  thirsty  they  cannot  have  their 
fill  of  drinking.  It  is  also  agreed  that  those  with  six 
joints  a  in  the  tail  are  more  savage — for  the  majority 
have  five.  This  curse  of  Africa  is  actually  given  the  Locality  of 
power  of  flight  by  a  south  wind,  which  supports  scorp*on*- 
their  arms  when  they  spread  them  out  like  oars; 
Apollodorus  before  mentioned  definitely  states  that 
some  possess  wings.  The  Psylli  tribe,  who  by  im- 
porting the  poisons  of  all  the  other  countries  for  their 
own  profit  have  filled  Italy  with  foreign  evils,  have 
tried  to  bring  these  creatures  here  also,  but  they 
have  proved  unable  to  live  this  side  of  the  climate 
of  Sicily.&  Nevertheless  they  are  sometimes  seen 
in  Italy,  though  these  are  harmless,  and  in  many 
other  places,  for  instance  in  the  neighbourhood  of 
Pharos  in  Egypt.  In  Scythia  they  kill  even  pigs, 
which  normally  are  exceptionally  immune  to  such 
poisons,  black  pigs  indeed  more  quickly,  if  they 
plunge  into  water.  For  a  human  victim  the  ashes 
of  the  creatures  themselves  drunk  in  wine  are  thought 
to  be  a  cure.  It  is  thought  that  to  be  dipped  in  oil 
is  a  great  disaster  to  geckoes  as  well  as  scorpions ; 
but  geckoes  at  least  are  harmless;  these  too  are 
bloodless,  and  are  shaped  like  a  lizard;  equally 
scorpions  are  believed  to  do  no  harm  whatever  to 

487 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

91  totum  nullis  *  nocere  quibus  non  sit  sanguis.   quidam 
et  ab  ipsis  fetum  devorari  arbitrantur ;   urmm  modo 
relinqui  sollertissimum  et  qui  se  ipsius  matris  clunibus 
inponendo  tutus  et  a  cauda  et  a  morsu  loco  fiat :  hunc 
esse  reliquorum  ultorem,  qui  postremo  genitorem  2 
superne  conficiat.     pariuntur  autem  undeni. 

XXXI.  Chamaeleonum  stelliones  hi  quodammodo 
naturam  habent,  rore  tantum  viventes  praeterque 
araneis. 

92  XXXII.  Similis  cicadis  vita,  quarum  duo  genera : 
minores    quae    primae    proveniunt    et    novissimae 
pereunt — sunt  autem  mutae;   sequens  est  volatura 
earum3  quae  canunt:    vocantur  achetae  et,  quae 
minores   ex  his   sunt,   tettigonia,   sed  illae   magis 
canorae.     mares  canunt  in  utroque  genere,  feminae 
silent,     gentes  vescuntur  his  ad  orientem,  etiam 
Parthi   opibus  abundantibus ;    ante   coitum   mares 
praeferunt,  a  coitu  feminas,  ovis  earum  corrupti, 

93  quae  sunt  Candida,    coitus  supinis.     asperitas  prae- 
acuta  in  dorso,  qua  excavant  feturae  locum  in  terra, 
fit  primo  vermiculus,  deinde  ex  eo  quae  vocatur  tetti- 
gornetra,  cuius  cortice  rupto  circa  solstitia  evolant, 
noctu  semper,  primo  nigrae  atque  durae.     unum 
hoc  ex  iis  quae  vivunt  et  sine  ore  est ;  pro  eo  quiddam 
aculeatorum  linguis  simile,  et  hoc  in  pectore,  quo 
rorem    lambunt.    pectus    ipsum    fistulosum;     hoc 

1  Dalec.  :  rnilli.  2  RackHiam :  gerdtores. 

3  earum  add.  Mayhoff. 

a  Cicada  here  stands  for  tte  grass-hopper  tribe  in  general. 
488 


BOOK  XI.  xxx.  90-xxxiL  93 

any  bloodless  creatures.  Some  think  that  they  also 
devour  their  own  offspring,  and  that  only  one  is  left, 
a  specially  clever  one  that  by  perching  on  his  mother's 
haunches  secures  himself  by  this  position  against 
both  her  tail  and  her  bite ;  and  that  this  one  is  the 
avenger  of  the  rest,  as  he  finally  kills  their  parent 
with  a  blow  from  above.  They  are  produced  in 
broods  of  eleven. 

XXXI.  These  geckoes  in  a  certain  manner  have  the 
nature  of  chamaeleons,  living  only  on  dew  and  on 
spiders  as  well. 

XXXII.  The  life-history  of  the  cicada  a  is  similar. 
Of  this  there  are  two  kinds :  the  smaller  ones  that 
come  out  first  and  perish  latest — these  however 
are  mute;    subsequent  is  the  flight  of  those  that 
sing :  they  are  called  Singers,  and  the  smaller  ones 
among  them  grass-hoppers,  but  the  former  are  more 
vocal.    The  males  hi  either  class  sing,  but  the  females 
are  silent.    These  creatures  are  used  as  food  by  the 
Eastward   races,    even    the    Parthians    with   their 
abundant  resources;  they  prefer  the  males  before 
mating  and  the  females  afterwards,  being  seduced 
by  their  eggs,  which  are  white.    They  couple  lying 
on  their  backs.    They  have  a  very  sharp  prickliness 
on  the  back,  with  which  they  hollow  a  place  in  the 
ground  for  their  offspring.    This  is  produced  first  as 
a  grub,  and  then  from  this  comes  what  is  called  the 
larva ;  at  the  period  of  the  solstices  they  break  the 
shell  of  this  and  fly  out,  always  at  night ;   at  first 
they  are  black  and  hard.    This  is  the  only  living 
creature  actually  without  a  mouth ;  they  have  instead 
a  sort  of  row  of  prickles  resembling  tongues,  this 
also  being  on  the  breast,  with  which  they  lick  the 
dew.    The  breast  itself  forms  a  pipe ;  the  singers  use 

489 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

94  canunt  achetae,  ut  dicemus.     de  cetero  in  ventre 
nihil  est.     excitatae  cum  subvolant,  umorem  red- 
dunt,   quod  solum  argumentum   est  rore   eas   all; 
isdem  soils  millum  ad  excrementa  corporis  foramen, 
oculis  tarn  hebetes  ut,  si  quis  digitum  contrahens  ac 
remittens  adpropinquet  iis,  transeant  velut  folio 1 
ludente.2     quidam  duo  alia  genera  faciunt   earum, 
surculariam  quae  sit  grandior,  frumentariam  quam 
alii   avenariam   vocant:     apparet  enim  simul  cum 

95  frumentis   arescentibus.     cicadae  non  nascuntur  in 
raritate   arborum — idcirco   non   sunt   Cyrenis   nisi 3 
circa  oppidum — nee  in  campis  nee  in  frigidis  aut 
umbrosis  nemoribus.     est  quaedam  et  his  locorum 
differentia :  in  Milesia  regione  paucis  sunt  locis,  sed 
in  Cephallania  amnis  quidam  paenuriam  earum  et 
copiam  dirimit ;  at  in  Regino  agro  silent  omnes,  ultra 
flumen  in  Locrensi  canunt.     pinnarum  illis  natura 
quae  apibus,  sed  pro  corpore  amplior. 

96  XXXIII.  Insectorum  autem  quaedam  binas  gerunt 
pinnas,  ut  muscae,  quaedam  quaternas,  ut  apes, 
membranis    et   cicadae    volant,     quaternas   habent 
quae  aculeis  in  alvo  armantur,  nullum  cui  telum  in 
ore  pluribus  quam  binis  advolat  pinnis :    illis  enim 
ultionis    causa    datum    est,    his    aviditatis.     nullis 
eorum    pinnae    revivescunt    avulsae.    nullum    cui 
aculeus  in  alvo  bipinne  est. 

1  v.l.  folia  (in  folia  Hermolaus). 
2  ludente  add.  ex  Ar.  Mayhoff.         3  nisi  add.  SchUnger. 

*  §  266. 
49° 


BOOK  XL  XXXIL  93-xxxm.  96 

this  to  sing  with,  as  we  shall  say.a  For  the  rest,  there 
is  nothing  on  the  belly.  When  they  are  disturbed 
and  fly  away,  they  give  out  moisture,  which  is  the 
only  proof  that  they  live  on  dew;  moreover  they  are 
the  only  creatures  that  have  no  aperture  for  the 
bodily  excreta.  Their  eyes  are  so  dim  that  if  any- 
body comes  near  to  them  contracting  and  straighten- 
ing out  a  finger,  they  pass  by  as  if  it  were  a  leaf 
flickering.  Some  people  make  two  other  classes  of 
tree-crickets,  the  twig-cricket  which  is  the  larger, 
and  the  corn-cricket,  which  others  call  the  oat-cricket, 
because  it  appears  at  the  same  time  as  the  crops 
begin  to  dry.  Tree-crickets  do  not  occur  where  trees 
are  scarce — consequently  they  are  not  found  at 
Cyrenae  except  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  town — 
nor  in  plains  or  in  chilly  or  shady  woods.  These 
creatures  also  make  some  difference  between  locali- 
ties; in  the  district  of  Miletus  they  occur  in  few 
places,  but  there  is  a  river  in  Cephallania  which  makes 
a  boundary  with  a  few  of  them  on  one  side  and  many 
on  the  other ;  again  in  the  Eeggio  territory  they  are 
all  silent  but  beyond  the  river  in  the  region  of  Locri 
they  sing.  They  have  the  same  wing-structure  as 
bees,  but  larger  in  proportion  to  the  body. 

XXXIII.  Of  insects  some  have  two  wings, 
instance,  flies,  and  some  four,  for  instance  bees.  tm«s». 
The   tree-cricket   also   flies   with   its    membranes. 
Those  armed  with  a  sting  in  the  belly  have  four  wings, 
but  none  having  a  weapon  in  the  mouth  has  more  than 
two  wings  to  fly  with,  for  the  former  have  this  weapon 
bestowed  on  them  for  the  sake  of  vengeance  but  the 
latter  for  the  purpose  of  greed.    No  insects'  wings 
when  torn  off  grow  again.    None  that  has  a  sting  in 
the  belly  is  two-winged. 

491 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

97  XXXIV.  Quibusdam    pinnarum    tutelae     crusta 
supervenit,  ut  scarabaeis,  quorum  tenuior  fragilior- 
que  pinna,   his  negatus  aculeus,  sed  in  quodam  genere 
eorum  grand!  cornua  praelonga,  bisulca  dentatis  x 
forficibus    in    cacumine,    cum    libuit,    ad    morsum 
coeuntibus,   infantium   etiam   remediis    ex    cervice 

98  suspenduntur ;    Lucanos  vocat  hos  Nigidius.     aliud 
rursus  eorum  genus  qui  e  fimo  ingentis  pilas  aversi 
pedibus  volutant  parvosque  in  iis  contra  rigorem 
hiemis  vermiculos  fetus  sui  nidulantur.     volitant  alii 
magno   cum   murmure    aut   mugitu,   alii   focos    et 
parietes 2    crebris    foraminibus    excavant    nocturno 
stridore  vocales.    lucent  ignium  modo  noctu  laterum 
et  clunium  colore  lampyrides,  nunc  pinnarum  hiatu 
refulgentes,  nunc  vero  conpressu  obumbratae,  non 
ante  matura  pabula  aut  post  desecta  conspicuae. 

99  e  contrario  tenebrarum  alumna  blattis  vita,  lucemque 
fugiunt,    in    balinearum3    maxime    umido    vapore 
prognatae.    fodiunt  ex  eodem  genere  rutili  atque 
praegrandes    scarabaei    tellurem    aridam    favosque 
parvae  et  fistulosae  modo  spongiae  medicato  melle 
fingunt.     in  Threcia  iuxta  Olynthum  locus  est  parvus 
quo  unum  hoc  anima  exanimatur,  ob  hoc  Cantharo- 

100  lethrus  appellatus.  pinnae  insectis  omnibus  sine 
scissura,  nulli  cauda  nisi  scorpioni.  hie  eorum 
solus  et  bracchia  habet  et  in  cauda  spiculum;  reli- 
quorum  quibusdam  aculeus,4  ut  asilo  (sive  tabanum 
dici  placet),  item  culici  et  quibusdam  muscis,  omnibus 

1  Brandis  (cf.  IX.  97) :  bisulcis  dentata. 

2  Dettefsen  (cf.  §  13) :  parata  aut  prata. 

3  Mayhoff :  baHneas  aut  balineis. 

4  RackTiam  :  aculeus  in  ore. 

a  The  stag-beetle.  6  The  dor-beetle. 

492 


BOOK  XL  xxxiv.  97-100 

XXXIV.  In  some  species  the  wings  are  protected  Varieties  of 
by  an  outer  covering  of  shell,  for  instance  beetles ;  ^H^omu, 
in  these  species  the  wing  is  thinner  and  more  fragile,  cockchafers! 
They  are  not  provided  with  a  sting,  but  in  one  large 
variety  a  of  them  there  are  very  long  horns,  with  two 
prongs  and  toothed  claws  at  the  point  which  close 
together  at  pleasure  for  a  bite;  they  are  actually 
hung  round  children's  jiecks  as  amulets;  Nigidius 
calls  these  Lucanian  oxen.  Another  kind  of  them 
again  is  one  that  rolls  up  backwards  with  its  feet 
vast  balls  of  mud  and  nests  its  brood  of  little  grubs 
in  these  against  the  rigour  of  winter.  Others &  flutter 
about  with  a  loud  murmur  or  a  shrill  noise,  and  others  c 
giving  out  a  buzz  bore  numerous  holes  in  hearths  and 
walls  in  the  night.  Glow  worms  shine  like  fires  at 
night  time  owing  to  the  colour  of  their  sides  and  loins, 
now  giving  a  flash  of  light  by  opening  their  wings  and 
now  darkened  by  closing  them ;  they  are  not  much 
seen  before  the  crops  are  ripe  or  after  they  have  been 
cut.  The  cockroaches'  life  on  the  contrary  is  a 
nurseling  of  the  shadows,  and  they  fly  the  light,  being 
mostly  produced  in  the  damp  warmth  of  bath- 
houses. The  reddish  and  very  large  beetles  of  the 
same  kind  dig  dry  earth  and  mould  combs  that 
resemble  a  small  porous  sponge  and  contain  poisoned 
honey.  There  is  a  small  place  near  Olynthus  in 
Thrace  that  is  fatal  to  this  animal,  and  is  conse- 
quently called  Beetle-bane.  The  wings  of  all  Varieties  $ 
insects  have  no  cleft.  None  has  a  tail  except 
the  scorpion.  This  is  the  only  insect  that  has  arms, 
and  also  a  spike  in  the  tail ;  some  of  the  rest  have  a 
sting,  for  instance  the  gad-fly  (or  if  you  like,  *  breeze  *), 
and  also  the  gnat  and  some  flies,  but  with  all  of  these 

e  The  wood- worm  and  the  death-watch  beetle. 

493 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

autem  his  in  ore  et  pro  lingua,  sunt  hi  aculei  quibus- 
dam  hebetes,  neque  ad  punctum  sed  ad  suctum,  ut 
muscarum  generi,  in  quo  lingua  evidens  fistula  est; 
nee  sunt  talibus  dentes.  aliis  cornicula  ante  oculos 
praetenduntur  ignava,  ut  papilionibus.  quaedam 
insecta  carent  pinnis,  ut  scolopendra. 

101  XXXV.  Insectorum  pedes  quibus  sunt  in  obliquum 
moventur.    quorundam  extremi  longiores  foris  cur- 
vantur,  ut  locustis. 

Hae  pariunt,  in  terram  demisso  spinae  caule,  ova 
condensa  autumni  tempore.  ea  durant  hieme,  e 
terra  subsequent!  anno  exitu  veris  emittunt  parvas, 
nigrantes  et  sine  cruribus,  pinnisque  reptantes. 
itaque  vernis  l  aquis  intereunt  ova,  sicco  vere  maior 

102  proventus.    alii  duplicem  earum  fetum,  geminum  2 
exitium  tradunt  —  vergiliarum  exortu  parere,  deinde 
ad  canis  ortum  obire  et  alias  renasci  ;  quidam  arcturi 
occasu  renasci.    mori  matres  cum  pepererint  certum 
est,  venniculo  statim  circa  fauces  innascente  qui  eas 
strangulat.     eodem  tempore  mares  obeunt.     et  3  tarn 
frivola    ratione    morientes    serpentem    cum    libuit 
necant  singulae,  faucibus  eius  adprehensis  mordicus. 

103  non  nascuntur  nisi  rimosis  locis.    in  India  ternum 
pedum    longitudinis    esse    traduntur,    cruribus    et 
feminibus  serrarum  usum  praebere  cum  inaruerint. 
est  et  alius  earum  obitus  :  gregatim  sublatae  vento 


1  An  hibernis  ?  (Ar.  jueroTrcoptvoiv)  Mayhoff. 

2  -Hardouin  :  geminumque. 

3  Mayhoff:  obeunte. 


494 


BOOK  XI.  xxxiv.  loo-xxxv.  103 

it  is  in  the  mouth  and  serves  as  a  tongue.  With 
some  these  stings  are  blunt,  and  do  not  serve  for 
pricking  but  for  suction — for  instance  with  a  sort  of 
fly,  in  which  the  tongue  is  evidently  a  tube ;  and  this 
sort  of  insect  have  no  teeth.  Others,  for  instance 
butterflies,  have  useless  little  horns  projecting  in 
front  of  their  eyes.  Some  insects,  for  instance  the 
centipede,  have  no  wings. 

XXXV.  Insects  that  have  feet  can  move  sideways.  The  locust. 
Of  some,  for  instance  locusts,  the  hind  feet  are  longer 
and  curve  outward. 

Locusts  in  the  autumn  season  give  birth  to  clusters 
of  eggs,  by  lowering  the  tube  of  the  prickle  to  the 
earth.  The  eggs  last  for  the  winter,  but  in  the  ensuing 
year  at  the  end  of  spring  send  out  small  insects,  that 
are  blackish  and  have  no  legs,  and  crawl  with  their 
wing-feathers.  Consequently  spring  rains  kill  the 
eggs,  whereas  in  a  dry  spring  there  are  larger  broods. 
Others  record  that  they  have  two  breeding  seasons 
and  two  seasons  when  they  die  off— bearing  at  the 
rise  of  the  Pleiads  and  then  dying  at  the  rise  of  the 
Dogstar,  others  being  born  in  their  place ;  some  say 
that  this  second  brood  is  born  at  the  setting  of 
Arcturus.  It  is  certain  that  the  mothers  die  when 
they  have  given  birth  to  a  brood,  a  maggot 
immediately  forming  inside  them  in  the  region  of 
the  throat  that  chokes  them.  The  males  die  at  the 
same  time.  And  although  dying  for  such  a  trifling 
reason  a  single  locust  when  it  likes  can  kill  a  snake 
by  gripping  its  throat  with  its  teeth.  They  are  born 
only  in  places  with  chinks  in  them.  There  are  said 
to  be  locusts  in  India  three  feet  long,  with  legs 
and  thighs  that  when  they  have  been  dried  can  be 
used  as  saws.  They  also  have  another  way  of  dying : 

495 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

in  maria  aut  stagna  decidunt.  forte  hoc  casuque 
evenit,  non,  ut  prisci  existimavere,  madefactis 
nocturno  umore  alls,  idem  quippe  nee  volare  eas 
noctibus  propter  frigora  tradiderunt,  ignari  etiam 
longinqua  maria  ab  iis  transiri,  continuata  plurium 
dierum — quod  maxime  miremur — fame  quoque, 

104  quam  propter  externa  pabula  petere  sciunt.    deorum 
irae  pestis  ea  intellegitur ;    namque  et  grandiores 
cernuntur  et  tanto  volant  pinnarum  stridore  ut  alites 
credantur,  solemque  obumbrant,  sollicitis  suspectan- 
tibus   populis   ne    suas    operiant   terras,     sufficiunt 
quippe  vires  et,  tamquam  parum  sit  maria  transisse, 
inmensos  tractus  permeant  diraque  messibus  nube 
contegunt,  multa  contactu  adurentes,  omnia  vero 
morsu  erodentes  et  fores  quoque  tectorum. 

105  Italiam  ex  Africa  maxime  coortae  infestant,  saepe 
j>opulo  Romana  ad  Sibyllina  coacto  remedia  confugere 
inopiae  metu.    in  Cyrenaica  regione  lex  etiam  est 
ter  anno  debellandi  eas,  primo  ova  obterendo,  dein 
fetum,  postremo  adultas,  desertoris  poena  in  eum 

106  qui  cessaverit.    et  in  Lemno  insula  certa  mensura 
praefinita  est  quam  singuli  enecatarum  ad  magis- 
tratus  referant.    graculos  quoque  ob  id  colunt  ad- 
496 


BOOK  XL  xxxv.  103-106 

they  are  carried  away  in  swarms  by  the  wind  and  fall 
into  the  sea  or  a  marsh.  This  happens  purely  by 
accident  and  not,  as  was  believed  by  ancient  writers, 
owing  to  their  wings  being  drenched  by  the  damp- 
ness of  night.  The  same  people  indeed  have  also 
stated  that  they  do  not  fly  by  night  because  of  the 
cold — not  being  aware  that  they  cross  even  wide 
seas,  actually,  which  is  most  surprising,  enduring 
several  days'  continuous  hunger,  to  remedy  which 
they  know  how  to  seek  fodder  abroad.  This  plague 
is  interpreted  as  a  sign  of  the  wrath  of  the  gods ;  for 
they  are  seen  of  exceptional  size,  and  also  they  fly 
with  such  a  noise  of  wings  that  they  are  believed  to 
be  birds,  and  they  obscure  the  sun,  making  the 
nations  gaze  upward  in  anxiety  lest  they  should 
settle  all  over  their  lands.  In  fact  their  strength  does 
not  fail,  and  as  though  it  were  not  enough  to  have 
crossed  the  seas,  they  pass  over  immense  tracts  of 
land  and  cover  them  with  a  cloud  disastrous  for  the 
crops,  scorching  up  many  things  with  their  touch 
and  gnawing  away  everything  with  their  bite,  even 
the  doors  of  the  houses  as  well. 

Italy  is  infested  by  swarms  of  them,  coming  Legislation 
principally  from  Africa,  the  Roman  nation  having  j*d(w 
often  been  compelled  by  fear  of  dearth  to  resort 
to  remedies  prescribed  by  the  Sibylline  Books.  In 
the  district  of  Gyrene  there  is  actually  a  law  to  make 
war  upon  them  three  times  a  year,  the  first  time  by 
crushing  the  eggs,  then  the  grubs  and  last  the  fully 
grown  insects,  with  the  penalty  of  a  deserter  for  the 
man  who  shirks.  Also  in  the  Island  of  Lemnos  there 
is  a  rule  prescribing  a  definite  quantity  of  locusts 
killed  that  each  man  has  to  bring  in  to  the 
magistrates.  Also  they  keep  jays  for  this  purpose, 

497 

VOL.  III.  K  K 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

verso  volatu  occurrentes  earum  exitio.  necare  et 
in  Syria  militari  imperio  coguntur.  tot  orbis  partibus 
vagatur  id  malum  ;  Parthis  et  hae  in  cibo  gratae. 

107  Vox  earum  proficisci  ab  occipitio  videtur  ;  eo  loco 
in    commissura    scapularum    habere    quasi    dentes 
existimantur  eosque  inter  se  terendo  stridorem  edere, 
circa  duo   maxime  aequinoctia,  sicut  cicadae  circa 
solstitium.      coitus   locustarum   qui   et   insectorum 
omnium  quae  coeunt,  marem  portante  femina,  in 
eum1   ultumo   caudae    reflexo   tardoque   digressu. 
minores  autem  in  omni  hoc  genere  feminis  mares. 

108  XXXVI.  Plurima    insectorum    vermiculum    gig- 
nunt;   nam  et  formicae  similem  ovis  vere,2  et  hae 
communicantes  laborem  ut  apes,  sed  illae  faciunt 
cibos,    hae    condunt.    ac    si   quis   conparet    onera 
corporibus  earum,  fateatur  nullis  portione  vires  esse 
maiores.  gerunt  ea  morsu  ;  maiora  avers  ae  postremis 
pedibus  moliuntur  umeris  obnixae.     et  his  reipub- 

109  licae    ratio,  memoria,    cura.     semina    adrosa    con- 
dunt ne  rursus  in  frugem  exeant  e  terra,  maiora 
ad  introitum  dividunt,  madefacta  imbre  proferunt 
atque    siccant.     operantur    et    noctu    plena    luna, 


eum  feminarum. 
2  Lacunam  fortasse  vere,  <mirabiles  opere)  et  Mayhoff* 

0  A  probable  suggestion  inserts  words  giving  *  These  too 
are  remarkable  workers,  sharing  —  .' 

498 


BOOK  XL  xxxv.  ro6-xxxvi.  109 

which  meet  them  by  flying  in  the  opposite  direction, 
to  their  destruction.  In  Syria  as  well  people  are 
commandeered  by  military  order  to  kill  them.  In 
so  many  parts  of  the  world  is  this  plague  abroad; 
but  with  the  Parthians  even  the  locust  is  an 
acceptable  article  of  diet. 

The  locust's  voice  appears  to  come  from  the  back  Physiology 
of  the  head :  it  is  believed  that  in  that  place  at  the  $£%. 
juncture  of  the  shoulder-blades  they  have  a  sort  of 
teeth,  and  that  they  produce  a  grating  noise  by 
rubbing  them  together,  chiefly  about  the  two 
equinoxes,  as  grasshoppers  do  about  midsummer. 
Locusts  couple  in  the  same  manner  as  all  insects 
that  pair,  the  female  carrying  the  male  with  the  end 
of  her  tail  bent  back  to  him,  and  with  slow  separation. 
In  all  this  class  the  males  are  smaller  than  the 
females. 

XXXVI.  Most  of  the  insects  give  birth  to  a  The  ant. 
maggot ;  ants  for  example  produce  in  spring  one  that 
resembles  an  egg,  these  too  sharing0  their  labour 
as  cTo  bees,  but  bees  make  the  food  stuffs,  whereas 
ants  collect  theirs.  And  if  anybody  compared  the 
loads  that  ants  carry  with  the  size  of  their  bodies, 
he  would  confess  that  no  creatures  have 
proportionally  greater  strength;  they  carry  them 
held  in  their  mouths,  but  they  move  larger  loads 
with  their  hind  feet,  turning  their  backs  to  them 
and  heaving  against  them  with  their  shoulders. 
Ants  also  have  a  system  of  government,  and  possess 
memory  and  diligence.  They  nibble  their  seeds 
before  they  store  them  away,  so  that  they  may  not 
sprout  up  again  out  of  the  earth  and  germinate; 
they  divide  the  krger  seeds  so  as  to  get  them  in ; 
when  they  have  been  wetted  by  rain  they  bring  them 

499 

KK  2 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

eaedem  interlunio  cessant.  iam  in  opere  qui  labor, 
quae  sedulitas !  et  qtioniam  ex  diverse  convehunt 
altera  alterius  ignarae l  certi  dies  2  ad  recognitionem 

110  mutuam  mindinis  dantur.     quae  tune  earum  con- 
cursatio,  quam  diligens  cum  obviis  quaedam  con- 
locutio   atque  percontatio !      silices   itinere    earum 
adtritos  videmus  et  opere  semitam  factam,  ne  quis 
dubitet  et  qualibet  in  re  quid  possit  quantulacumque 
adsiduitas  !  sepeliunt  inter  se  viventium  solae  praeter 
hominem. — non  sunt  in  Sicilia  pinnatae. 

111  Indicae  formicae  cornua  Erythris  in  aede  Herculis 
fixa  miraculo  fuere.    aurum  hae  cavernis  egerunt 
cum  3  terra,  in  regione  septentrionalium  Indorum  qui 
Dardae   vocantur.    ipsis    color    felium,    magnitudo 
Aegypti    luporum.    erutum    hoc    ab    iis    tempore 
hiberno    Indi    furantur    aestivo    fervor e,    conditis 
propter  vaporem  in  cuniculos  formicis,  quae  tamen 
odore  sollicitatae  provolant  crebroque  lacerant  quam- 
vis  praevelocibus  camelis  fagientes :  tanta  pernicitas 
feritasque  est  cum  amore  auri. 

112  XXXVII.  Multa  autem  insecta  et  aliter  nascuntur, 
atque  in  primis  e  rore.     insidet  hie  raphani  folio 
primo  vere  et  spissatus  sole  in  magnitudinem  milii 
cogitur.    inde  porrigitur  vermiculus  parvus  et  triduo 

1  v.L  ignara.  2  indices  Detlefsen. 

3  cum  add,  ?  Mayhoff  (terrae  alii). 

a  It  has  been  suggested  that  these  relics  were  in  reality  the 
pick-axes  of  Tibetan  gold-miners,  and  the  gold-carrying  ants 
their  dogs. 

500 


BOOK  XL  xxxvi.  109-xxxYii.  112 

out  and  dry  them.  They  even  work  at  night  when 
there  is  a  full  moon,  although  when  there  is  no 
moon  they  stop.  Again  what  industry  and  what 
diligence  is  displayed  in  their  work !  and  since  they 
bring  their  burdens  together  from  opposite  directions, 
and  are  unknown  to  one  another,  certain  days  are 
assigned  for  market  so  that  they  may  become 
acquainted.  How  they  flock  together  on  these 
occasions !  How  busily  they  converse,  so  to  speak, 
with  those  they  meet  and  press  them  with  questions  1 
We  see  rocks  worn  by  their  passage  and  a  path  made 
by  their  labours,  so  that  nobody  may  doubt  how 
much  can  be  accomplished  in  any  matter  by  even 
a  trifling  amount  of  assiduity!  They  are  the  only 
living  creatures  beside  man  that  bury  their  dead. — 
Winged  ants  do  not  occur  in  Sicily. 

The  horns  a  of  an  Indian  ant  fixed  up  in  the  Temple 
of  Hercules  were  one  of  the  sights  of  Erythrae. 
These  ants  carry  gold  out  of  caves  in  the  earth  in  the 
region  of  the  Northern  Indians  called  the  Dardae. 
The  creatures  are  of  the  colour  of  cats  and  the  size 
of  Egyptian  wolves.  The  gold  that  they  dig  up  in 
winter  time  the  Indians  steal  in  the  hot  weather  of 
summer,  when  the  heat  makes  the  ants  hide  in 
burrows;  but  nevertheless  they  are  attracted  by 
their  scent  and  fly  out  and  sting  them  repeatedly 
although  retreating  on  very  fast  camels :  such  speed 
and  such  ferocity  do  these  creatures  combine  with 
their  love  of  gold. 

XXXVII.  Many  insects  however  are  born 
other  ways  as  well,  and  in  the  first  place  from 
At  the  beginning  of  spring  this  lodges  on  the  leaf  of 
a  radish  and  is  condensed  by  the  sun  and  shrinks 
to  the  size  of  a  millet  seed.  Out  of  this  a  small 

501 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

mox  uruca,  quae  adiectis  diebus  adcrescit ;  fit  x  im- 
mobilis,  duro  cortice,  ad  tactum  tantum  movetur, 
araneo  accreta,  quam  chrysallidem  appellant,  rupto 
deinde  eo  cortice  evolat 2  papilio. 

113  XXXVIII.  Sic  quaedam  ex  imbre  generantur  in 
terra,  quaedam  et  in  ligno.     nee  enim  cossi  tantum 
in  eo,  sed  etiam  tabani  ex  eo  nascuntur  et  alia  3 
ubicumque  umor  est  nimius,  (XXXIX)  sicut  intra  homi- 
nem  taeniae  tricenum  pedum,  aliquando  et  plurium, 

114  longitudine.     iam  in   carne  exanima  et  viventium 
quoque    hominum  capillo,   qua  foeditate   et   Sulla 
dictator  et  Alcman  ex  clarissimis  Graeciae  poetis 
obiere.    hoc  quidem    et    aves    infestat,  phasianas 

115  vero  interemit  nisi  pulverantes  sese ;  pilos  habentium 
asinum  tantum  inmunem  hoc  malo  credunt  et  oves. 
gignuntur  autem  et  vestis  genere  praecipue,  lanicio 
interemptarum  a  lupis  ovium.     aquas  quoque  quas- 
dam  quibus  lavemur  fertiliores  eius  generis  invenio 
apud  auctores,  quippe  cum  etiam  cerae  id  gignant 
quod  animalium  minimum  existimatur.     alia  rursus 
generantur  sordibus  a  radio  solis,  posteriorum  lascivia 
crurum  petauristae,  alia  pulvere  umido  in  cavernis 
volucria. 

116  XL.  Est  animal  eiusdem  temporis  infixo  semper 
sanguini  capite  vivens  atque  ita  intumescens,  unum 

1  fit  auctore  Warmington  add.  RacJckam. 

2  Raclcham :  volat. 

3  v.l.  alibi :  alias  edd. 

a  Our  cabbage-white  *  The  larvae  of  flies. 

c  The  clothes-moth.  *  The  '  leaper  *. 

502 


BOOK  XL  xxxvn.  II2-XL.  116 

maggot  developes,  and  three  days  later  it  becomes 
a  caterpillar,  which  as  days  are  added  grows  larger ; 
it  becomes  motionless,  with  a  hard  skin,  and  only  moves 
when  touched,  being  covered  with  a  cobweb  growth — 
at  this  stage  it  is  called  a  chrysalis.  Then  it  bursts 
its  covering  and  flies  out  as  a  butterfly.^ 
XXXVIII.  In  this  way  some  creatures  are  other  mod* 

-,   »  ..111  •     ofgeneratt 

generated  from  ram  in  the  earth  and  some  even  in  Of  insects. 
wood.  For  not  only  is  the  goatmoth  caterpillar  born 
in  wood,  but  also  the  horse-fly  springs  from  wood,  and 
other  creatures,  wherever  there  is  excessive  damp, 
(XXXIX)  just  as  tape-worms  thirty  feet  in  length, 
sometimes  even  more,  grow  inside  a  human  being. 
Again  worms  6  are  born  in  the  flesh  of  dead  bodies 
and  also  in  the  hair  of  living  people,  a  foul  growth  that 
caused  the  death  of  the  dictator  Sulla  and  also  of  one 
of  the  most  famous  of  Greece  poets,  Alcman.  This 
indeed  also  infests  birds,  and  actually  kills  pheasants 
unless  they  sprinkle  themselves  with  dust;  and  of 
hairy  animals  it  is  believed  that  only  the  ass  and  sheep 
are  immune  from  this  evil.  They  c  also  breed  in  one 
kind  of  clothing  especially,  woollen  made  from  sheep 
that  have  been  killed  by  wolves.  Also  I  find  in  the 
authorities  that  some  springs  of  water  in  which 
we  bathe  are  specially  productive  of  this  kind 
of  creature;  inasmuch  as  even  wax  generates 
what  is  believed  to  be  the  smallest  of  animals. 
Others^  again  are  generated  out  of  dirt  by  the  rays 
of  the  sun,  creatures  that  hop  with  a  frisk  of  their 
hind  legs,  and  others  out  of  damp  dust,  that  fly 
about  in  caves. 

XL.  There  is  an  animal  belonging  to  the  same  JBkod- 
season  that  always  lives  with  its  head  fixed  in  the  maggots. 
blood  of  a  host,  and  consequently  goes  on  swelling, 

5°3 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

animalium  cui  cibi  non  sit  exitus :  dehiscit  cum 
nimia  satietate,  alimento  ipso  moriens.  numquam 
hoc  in  iumentis  gignitur,  in  bubus  frequens,  in  canibus 
aliquando,  in  quibus  omnia,  in  ovibus  et  in  capris 
hoc  solum.  aeque  mira  sanguinis  et  hirudinum  in 
palustri  aqua  sitis ;  namque  et  hae  toto  capite  con- 
duntur.  est  volucre  canibus  peculiare  suum  malum, 
aures  maxime  lancinans,  quae  defendi  morsu  non 
queunt. 

117  XLL  Idem  pulvis  in  lanis  et  veste  tineas  creat, 
praecipue  si  araneus  una  includatur ;  sitiens  1  enim 
et  omnem  umorem  absorbens  ariditatem  ampliat. 
hoc  et  in  chartis  noscitur.2  est  earum  genus  tunicas 
suas  trahentium  quo  cocleae  modo ;  sed  harum  pedes 
cernuntur.  spoliatae  exspirant ;  si  adcrevere,  faciunt 

J.18  chrysallidem.  ficarios  culices  caprificus  generat, 
cantharidas  vermiculi  ficorum  et  piri  et  peuces  et 
cynacanthae  et  rosae.  venenum  hoc  remedia  secum 
habet:  alae  medentur,  quibus  demptis  letale  est. 
rursus  alia  genera  culicum  acescens  natura  gignit, 
quippe  cum  et  in  nive  candidi  inveniantur  et  vetus- 
tiore  vermiculij  in  media  quidem  altitudine  rutili,3 — 
nam  et  ipsa  nix  vetustate  rufescit, — hirti  pilis,  gran- 
diores  torpentesque. 

119  XLII.  Gignit  aliqua  et  contrarium  naturae  elemen- 
tum.  siquidem  in  Cypri  aerariis  fornacibus  et  medio 

1  MayJioff ':  sititur. 

2  nascitur  ?  Mayhoff. 

3  in  nive  inveniantur  vetustiore  vermiculi  rutili — nam  et 
ipsa  nix  vetustate  rufescit — hirti  pilis,  in  Media  quidem 
candidi  MayJioff. 


J  The  dog-tick. 
504 


BOOK  XL  XL.  ii6-xLii.  119 

as  it  is  the  only  animal  that  has  no  vent  for  its  food  : 
with  gorging  to  excess  it  bursts,  so  dying  of  its  very 
nutriment.  This  creature  never  grows  in  cart- 
horses but  occurs  frequently  in  oxen  and  occasionally 
in  dogs,&  in  which  all  creatures  breed,  whereas  this 
alone  occurs  in  sheep  and  goats.  Equally  remarkable 
is  the  thirst  for  blood  that  is  even  felt  by  leeches  in 
marshy  water ;  for  they  too  penetrate  with  the  whole 
of  their  head.  Dogs  have  a  special  pest  of  their 
own,  a  maggot  that  lances  particularly  their  ears, 
which  they  cannot  protect  by  their  bite. 

XLI.  Similarly,  dust  in  woollens  and  in  clothes  Clothes- 
breeds  moths,  especially  if  a  spider  is  shut  up  with  ™°el 
them;  for  being  thirsty  and  sucking  up  all  the 
moisture  it  increases  the  dryness.  This  is  also 
noticed  in  papers.  There  is  a  kind  of  moths  that 
carry  their  own  coats  in  the  same  way  as  snails; 
but  the  moths  have  visible  feet.  If  stripped  of  their 
coats  they  die,  but  if  they  grow  up,  they  form  a 
chrysalis.  The  wild  fig-tree  breeds  fig-gnats ; 
beetles  are  produced  by  the  maggots  of  figs  and  of 
the  pear  tree,  pine,  dog-rose  and  rose.  This 
poisonous  creature  brings  its  remedies  with  it — 
the  wings  have  a  healing  power;  but  with  these 
removed  it  is  deadly.  Again,  other  kinds,  namely 
gnats,  are  bred  by  a  substance  growing  sour,  and  in 
tact  white  ones  are  found  even  in  snow,  and  also  in 
snow  that  has  been  lying  for  some  time  maggots, 
which  in  a  moderate  depth  of  snow  at  all  events  are 
ruddy — for  even  snow  itself  turns  reddish  with  lapse 
of  time ;  these  have  shaggy  hair  and  are  of  consider- 
able size,  and  torpid. 

XLI  I.    Some    creatures    are   generated  also  by  Fire-flies. 
the  opposite  natural  element.    Thus  in  the  copper 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

igni  maioris  muscae  magnitudinis  volat  pinnatum 
quadrupes ;  appellatur  pyrallis,  a  quibusdum  pyroto- 
con.1  quamdlu  est  in  igne  vivit,  cum  evasit  longiore 
paulo  volatu  emoritur. 

120  XLIII.  Hypanis  fluvius  in  Ponto  circa  solstitium 
defert  acinorum  effigie  tenues  membranas  quibus 
erumpit  volucre  quadrupes  supra  dicti  modo,  nee 
ultra  unum  diem  vivit,  unde  hemerobion  vocatur. 
reliquis  talium  ab  initio  ad  fmem  septenarii  sunt 
numeri,  culici  et  vermiculis  ter  septeni,  corpus  parien- 
tibus  quater  septeni.    mutationes  et  in  alias  figuras 
transitus  trinis  aut  quadrinis  diebus.     cetera  ex  his 
pinnata    autumno    fere    moriuntur    tabe    alarum,2 
tabani    quidem    etiam    caecitate.    muscis    umore 
exanimatis,  si  cinere  condantur,  redit  vita. 

121  XLIV.  Nunc  per  singulas  corporum  partes  praeter 
iam  dicta  membratim  tractetur  historia. 

Caput  habent  cuncta  quae  sanguinem.  in  capite 
paucis  animalium  nee  nisi  volucribus  apices,  diversi 
quidem  generis,  phoenici  plumarum  serie  e  medio 
eo  exeunte  alio,  pavonibus  crinitis  arbusculis,  stym- 
phalidi  cirro,  phasianae  corniculis,  praeterea  parvae 
avi  quae,  ab  illo  galerita  appellata  quondam,  postea 

1  Mayhoff:  pyroto  (pyrota  Jan). 

2  tabe  alarum  add.  ex  Aristotele  Mayhoff. 


a<  A  species  of  May-fly. 

6  *  Of  decay  of  the  wings  *  is  added  by  Mayhoff  from 
Aristotle. 

c  A  mythical  species. 

506 


BOOK  XL  XLII.  H9-XMV.  121 

foundries  of  Cyprus  even  in  the  middle  of  the  fire 
there  flies  a  creature  with  wings  and  four  legs,  of 
the  size  of  a  rather  large  fly ;  it  is  called  the  pyrallis, 
or  by  some  the  pyrotocon.  As  long  as  it  is  in  the  fire 
it  lives,  but  when  it  leaves  it  on  a  rather  long  flight 
it  dies  off. 

XLIII.  The  river  Bug  on  the  Black  Sea  at  $ 
midsummer  brings  down  some  thin  membranes  that  insects. 
look  like  berries  out  of  which  burst  a  four-legged 
caterpillar  in  the  manner  of  the  creature  mentioned 
above,  but  it  does  not  live  beyond  one  day,  owing 
to  which  it  is  called  the  hemerobius,a  The  rest  of 
this  sort  of  creatures  have  from  start  to  finish  seven- 
day  periods,  but  the  gnat  and  maggots  have  twenty- 
one-day,  and  those  whose  offspring  are  fully  formed 
twenty-eight-day  periods.  Their  changes  and  trans- 
formations into  other  shapes  take  place  every  three 
or  every  four  days.  The  remaining  kinds  of  this 
class  possessing  wings  usually  die  in  autumn  of  decay 
of  the  wings,6  but  horse-flies  die  of  blindness  also. 
When  flies  have  been  killed  by  damp  they  can  be 
resuscitated  by  being  buried  in  ashes. 

XLIV.  Now  let  our  investigation  treat  of  the 

/»  i      -i .        i       •  i         .  r  i        j     structure 

various  parts  of  bodies  besides  the  ones  already  taking  the 
mentioned,  taking  limb  by  limb.  %% ofthe 

All  creatures  that  have  blood  have  a  head.    On  seriatim  .• 
the  head  a  few  kinds,  and  these  only  birds,  have  & 
crests,  of  different  sorts  it  is  true — with  the  phoenix 
it  is  a  row  of  feathers  spreading  out  from  the  middle 
of  the  head  in  a  different  direction,  peacocks  have 
bushy  tufts,  the  bird  of  Stymphalusc  a  crest,  the 
pheasant  little  horns,  as  moreover  has  the  small 
bird  that  was  formerly  named  from  this  peculiarity 
the  crested  lark  and  subsequently  was  called  by  the 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

Gallico  vocabulo  etiam  legioni  nomendederatalaudae. 

122  diximus  et  cui  plicatilem  cristam  dedisset  natura. 
per  medium  caput  a  rostro  residentem  et  fulicarum 
generi   dedit,   cirros   pico   quoque    Martio   et   grui 
Balearicae,  sed  spectatissimum  insigne  gallinaceis, 
corporeum,  serratum ;    nee  carnem  id 1   esse   nee 
cartilaginem    nee    callum    iure    dixerimus,    verum 
peculiare    datum:     draconum    enim     cristas     qui 
viderit  non  reperitur. 

123  XLV.  Cornua   multis   quidem   et   aquatilium   et 
marinorum  et  serpentium  variis  data  sunt  modis, 
sed   quae   iure   cornua  intellegantur   quadripedum 
tantum  generi ;   Actaeonem  enim,  et  Cipum  etiam 
in  Latia  historia,  fabulosos  reor.     nee  alibi  maior 
naturae   lascivia ;    lusit   animalium   armis :    sparsit 
haec  in  ramos,  ut  cervorum,  aliis  simplicia  tribuit, 
ut    in    eodem    genere   subulonibus    ex    argumento 
dictis,   aliorum  fudit  in  palmas   digitosque   emisit 

124  ex   his,   unde   platycerotas   vocant.     dedit   ramosa 
capreis  sed  parva,  nee  fecit  decidua;    convoluta  in 
anfractum    arietum    generi,    ceu    caestus    daret; 
infesta   tauris — in  hoc   quidem   genere   et  feminis 
tribuit,  in  multis  tantum  maribus;    rupicapris  in 
dorsum  adunca,  dammis  in  adversum ;  erecta  autem 

1  edd. :  ita. 


0  Raised  by  Caesar  in  Gaul,  at  his  own  expense.  Pre- 
sumably a  crested  lark  was  the  crest  on  its  helmets. 

*  See  X.  68. 

c  The  black  woodpecker. 

d  Actaeon  was  torn  to  pieces  by  Ms  hounds  after  having 
seen  Diana  bathing.  Cipus  was  a  fabled  Roman  praetor 
who  suddenly  grew  horns  :  Ovid.  Met,  15.  565. 

•  Fallow  deer, 

508 


BOOK  XI.  XLIV.  I2I-XLV.  124 

Gallic  word  alauda  and  gave  that  name  also  to  the 
legion0  so  entitled.  We  have  also  said6  which 
bird  has  been  endowed  by  nature  with  a  folding 
crest.  Nature  has  also  bestowed  a  crest  that  slopes 
backwards  from  the  beak  down  the  middle  of  the 
neck  on  the  coot  species,  and  also  a  tufted  crest  on 
Mars's  woodpecker c  and  on  the  Balearic  crane,  but 
she  has  given  the  most  distinguished  decoration  to 
the  poultry-cock — its  fleshy,  notched  comb ;  and  this 
cannot  rightly  be  described  as  flesh  or  gristle  or  hard 
skin,  but  is  a  gift  peculiar  to  it :  for  no  one  can  be 
found  who  has  ever  seen  serpents'  crests. 

XLV.  Many  of  the  water  and  marine  and  snake  Boms. 
species  are  furnished  in  various  ways  with  horns  of  a 
sort,  but  horns  in  the  proper  sense  of  the  term  only 
belong  to  the  genus  quadrupeds;  for  I  deem  the 
story  of  Actaeon,6  d  and  also  that  of  Cipus  a  in  the 
history  of  Latium,  to  be  fabulous.  And  in  no  other 
field  does  nature  allow  herself  more  sport ;  with  the 
weapons  of  animals  she  has  made  a  game — dividing 
some  into  branches,  for  instance,  the  horns  of  stags ; 
assigning  simple  horns  to  others,  for  instance,  the 
species  in  the  same  genus  called  from  this  feature 
'  flute-stags/  e  spreading  those  of  others  into  palms 
and  making  fingers  shoot  out  from  these,  the  origin 
of  the  designation  '  broad-horn/  To  goats  she  has 
given  branching  but  small  horns,  and  these  she  has 
not  made  to  be  shed ;  to  the  ram  class  horns  twisted 
into  a  crooked  shape,  as  if  providing  them  with 
weighted  gauntlets  for  boxing;  to  bulls  horns  for 
attacking — in  this  class  indeed  she  has  also  bestowed 
horns  on  the  females,  although  in  many  she  only 
gives  them  to  the  males;  to  chamois  horns  curved 
over  the  back,  to  antelopes  horns  curved  the  opposite 

509 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

rugarumque  ambitu  contorta  et  in  leve  fastigium 
exacuta,  ut  lyras  decerent,  strepsiceroti,  quern 
addacem  Africa  appellat;  mobilia  eadem3  ut  aures, 

125  Phrygiae  armentis ;  Trogodytarum  in  terram  derecta, 
qua  de  causa  obliqua  cervice  pascuntur ;  aliis  singula, 
et  haec  medio  capite  aut  naribus,  ut  diximus;   iam 
quidem   aliis  ad  incursum  robusta,  aliis  ad  ictum, 
aliis  adunca,  aliis  redunca,  aliis  ad  iactum  pluribus 
modis  supina,  convexa,  conversa;    omnia  in  mucro- 
nem  migrantia;   in  quodam  genere  pro  manibus  ad 
scabendum    corpus;     cocleis    ad    praetemptandum 
iter — corporea  haec,  sicut  cerastis ;  his  1  aliquando 
singula,  cocleis  semper  bina,  et  ut  protendantur  ac 
resiliant. 

126  Urorum  cornibus  barbari  septentrionales  potant, 
vinisque 2   bina  capitis  unius  cornua   inplent ;    alii 
praefixa  hastilia   cuspidant,    apud   nos   in   lamnas 
secta  tralucent  atque  etiam  lumen  inclusum  latius 
fundunt,  multasque  alias  ad  delicias   conferuntur, 
nunc  tincta,  nunc  sublita,  nunc  quae  cestrota  a3 

127  picturae  genere  dicuntur.    omnibus  autem  cava  et 
in  mucrone  demum  concreta  sunt,  cervis  tantum  tota 
solida   et   omnibus   annis   decidua.     bourn    adtritis 
unguHs  cornua  unguendo  arvina  medentur  agricolae, 
adeoque  sequax  natura  est  ut  in  ipsis  viventium  cor- 

1  his  add.  Mueller.          2  RacTcham  :  Tirnisque. 
3  a  add.  Hardouin. 


a  This  name  is  still  in  use. 

b  Herodotus  (4.  192)  says  that  the  horns  of  the  Libyan 
opvg,  a  kind  of  antelope,  are  used  for  the  mfoeis1,  horns,  or 
sides,  of  a  lyre. 

510 


BOOK  XL  XLV.  124-127 

way;  but  to  the  crook-horn,  the  African  name  for 
which  is  addax,a  upright  horns  twisted  with  a  coil  of 
wrinkles  and  sharpened  at  the  end  into  a  smooth 
point,  so  as  to  make  them  suitable  for  lyres & ;  also 
horns  that  are  movable,  like  ears,  to  the  cattle  of 
Phrygia;  horns  pointing  towards  the  ground  to 
those  belonging  to  the  Cave-dwellers,  which  conse- 
quently graze  with  the  neck  bent  sideways ;  to  other 
creatures  a  single  horn,  and  this  placed  in  the  middle 
of  the  head  or  between  the  nostrils,  as  we  have  said : 
moreover  some  have  strong  horns  for  charging, 
others  for  striking;  some  horns  curved  forward, 
some  backward,  some  for  tossing  in  various  ways — 
curving  backward,  curving  together,  curving  out- 
ward ;  all  ending  in  a  point ;  in  one  kind  horns  used 
instead  of  hands  for  scratching  the  body ;  with  snails 
used  for  exploring  the  way  in  advance — these 
fleshy,  as  those  of  the  horned  snake ;  these  creatures 
sometimes  have  one  horn,  snails  always  two,  so  as 
both  to  be  stretched  forward  and  to  spring  back. 

The  northern  barbarians  use  the  horns  of  the  uses  o 
aurochs  for  drinking,  and  fill  the  two  horns  of  a  single  horn' 
head  with  wine ;  others  point  their  spears  with  horn 
tips.  With  us  horn  is  cut  into  transparent  plates  to 
give  a  wider  diffusion  to  a  light  enclosed  in  it,  and 
it  is  also  applied  to  many  other  articles  of  luxury, 
sometimes  dyed,  sometimes  painted,  sometimes 
what  is  called  from  a  certain  kind  of  picture  '  en- 
graved/ All  animals'  horns  are  hollow  and  solid 
solely  at  the  tip,  but  only  stags  have  horns  that  are 
entirely  solid  and  that  are  shed  every  year.  Farmers 
heal  the  hooves  of  their  oxen  when  worn  by  greasing 
the  horn  of  the  hoof  with  fat ;  and  the  substance  of 
horn  is  so  ductile  that  even  the  horns  of  living  cattle 

5" 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

poribus  fervent!  cera  flectantur,  atque  incisa  nascen- 
tium  in  diversas  partes  torqueantur,  ut  singulis 
capitibus  quaterna  fiant. 

128  Tenuiora  feminis  plerumque  sunt,  ut  in  pecore 
multisjovium  nulla,nec  cervorum,  nee  quibus  multifidi 
pedes,  nee  solidipedum  ulli  excepto   asino  Indico 
qui  uno  armatus  est  cornu.     bisulcis  bina  natura1 
tribuitj    at 2  nulli  superne  primores  habenti  dentes : 
qui  putant  eos  in  cornua  absumi  facile  coarguuntur 
cervarum  natura,  quae  nee  dentes  habent  quos3  neque 
mares,  nee  tamen  cornua,    ceterorum  ossibus  adhaer- 
ent,  cervorum  tantum  cutibus  enascuntur. 

129  XLVI.  Capita  piscibus  portione  corporum  maxima, 
fortassis  ut  mergantur.    ostrearum  generi  nulla  nee 
spongiis  nee  aliis  fere  quibus  solus  ex  sensibus  tactus 
est.     quibusdam  indiscretum  caput,  ut  cancris. 

130  XLVII.  In  capite  animalium  cunctorum  homini 
plurimus  pilus,  iam  quidem  promiscue  maribus  ac 
feminis ,  apud  intonsas  utique  gentes ;   atque  etiam 
nomina   ex   eo    Capillatis   Alpium   incolis,    Galliae 
Comatae,  ut  tamen  sit  aliqua  in  hoc  terrarum  differen- 
tia :  quippe  Myconii  carentes  eo  gignuntur,  sicut  in 
Cauno  lienosi  (et  quaedam  animalium   naturaliter 

1  natura  add.  Broterius, 

2  at  add.  ?  Mayhqff. 

3  MacJcham  auctore  ( ?)  Warmington  :  habent  ut. 
512 


BOOK  XL  XLV.  i2y-xLvn.  130 

can  be  bent  with  boiling  wax,  and  they  can  be  slit 
at  birth  and  twisted  in  opposite  directions,  so  as  to 
produce  four  horns  on  one  head. 

The  females  usually  have  thinner  horns,  as  is  the 
case  with  many  in  the  cattle  class,  but  the  females  structure  of, 
of  sheep  and  of  stags  have  none,  nor  have  those  of  the  h°Tm- 
animals  with  cloven  hooves,  nor  any  of  those  with 
solid  hooves  except  the  Indian  ass  that  is  armed  with 
a  single  horn.  Nature  has  bestowed  two  horns  on  the 
kinds  with  cloven  hooves,  but  on  no  kind  having 
front  teeth  in  the  upper  jaw:  but  those  who  think 
that  the  material  to  form  upper  teeth  is  entirely 
used  up  in  horns  are  easily  refuted  by  the  nature  of 
does,  which  have  no  teeth  that  stags  have  not  also 
and  nevertheless  have  no  horns.  The  horns  of  all 
other  kinds  are  attached  to  the  bones,  but  those  of 
stags  alone  grow  out  of  the  hide. 

XLVI.  The  heads  of  fishes  are  very  large  in  pro-  Heads  of 
portion  to  their  bodies,  perhaps  so  as  to  enable  them  fishe3' 
to  dive.    The  shell-fish  kind  have  no  heads,  nor  have 
sponges  nor   virtually   any  of  the  other  creatures 
which  only  possess  the  sense  of  touch.    Some  kinds, 
for  instance  crabs,  have  the  head  not  separated  from 
the  body. 

XLVII.  Of  all  the  animals  man  has  most  hair^jyv 

11-1  lit  i  -i...          i     baldness 

on  the  head :  indeed  this  is  the  case  indiscriminately  in  man. 
with  males  and  females,  at  all  events  with  the  races 
that  do  not  cut  the  hair ;  and  the  Longhair  tribes  of 
the  Alps  and  Gallia  Comata  have  actually  derived 
their  names  from  this,  though  nevertheless  there  is 
in  this  respect  some  difference  between  countries :  in 
fact  the  people  of  Mykoni  are  born  devoid  of  hair, 
like  the  persons  with  an  affection  of  the  spleen  at 
Caunus.  (Also  some  kinds  of  animals  are  bald  by 

5*3 

VOL.  III.  L  L 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

calvent,  sicut  struthiocameli  et  corvi  aquatic! ,  quibus 

131  apud   Graecos  nomen  inde).     defluvium  eorum  in 
muliere  rarum,  in  spadonibus  non  visum,  nee  in  ullo 
ante  veneris  usum,  nee  infra   cerebrum   aut   infra 
verticem  aut  circa  tempora  atque  aures.     calvitium 
uni  tantum  animalium  homini  praeterquam  innatum ; 
canities  homini  tantum  et  equo,  sed  homini  semper 
a  priore  parte  capitis,  turn  deinde  ab  aversa. 

132  XLVIII.  Vertices  bini  hominum  tantum  aliquis. 
capitis   ossa  plana,  tenuia,  sine  medullis,  serratis 
pectinatim  structa  conpagibus.    perfracta  non  que- 
unt  solidari,  sed  excepta  modice  non  sunt  letalia  in 
vicem  eorum  succedente  corporea  cicatrice,    infirmis- 
sima  esse  ursis,  durissima  psittacis,  suo  diximus  loco. 

133  XLIX.  Cerebrum   omnia  habent   animalia   quae 
sanguinem,  etiam  in  mari  quae  mollia  appellavimus 
quamvis  careant  sanguine,  ut  polypus,   sed  homo 
portione  maximum  et  umidissimum  omniumque  vis- 
cerum  frigidissimum,  duabus  supra  subterque  mem- 
branis  velatum,  quarum  alterutram  rumpi  mortiferum 

134  est.    cetero    viri    quam   feminae    maius.    omnibus 
hominibus  x  hoc  sine  sanguine,  sine  venis,  et  aliquis  2 
sine   pingui.      aliud   esse   quam  medullam    eruditi 

1  Ractiham  :  omnibus  aut  hominibua. 

2  Mueller  ?  (vel  ex  Aristoteh  sebosis) :  reliquis. 


a  <j>aXaKpoK6paK€S,  c  .  X.  133.  6  VIII.  130,  X.  117. 

c  IX.  83.  *  I.e.  the  octopus. 

514 


BOOK  XL  XLVII,  I3O-XLIX.  134 

nature,  for  instance  ostriches  and  cormorants; 
the  Greek  name  a  for  the  latter  is  derived  from  this 
peculiarity.)  With  these  races  loss  of  the  hair  is 
rare  in  the  case  of  a  woman  and  unknown  in  eunuchs, 
and  never  occurs  in  any  case  before  sexual  inter- 
course has  taken  place;  and  they  are  never  bald 
below  the  brainpan  or  the  crown  of  the  head,  or  round 
the  temples  and  the  ears.  Man  is  the  only  species  in 
which  baldness  occurs,  except  in  cases  of  animals 
born  without  hair,  and  only  with  human  beings  and 
horses  does  the  hair  turn  grey,  in  the  former  case 
always  starting  at  the  forehead  and  only  afterwards 
at  the  back  of  the  head, 

XLVIII.  In  human  beings  only  a  double-crowned  The  skull, 
skull  occurs  in  some  cases.  The  bones  of  the  human 
skull  are  flat  and  thin  and  have  no  marrow ;  they  are 
constructed  with  inter  lockings  serrated  like  the 
teeth  of  a  comb.  When  broken  they  cannot  form 
again,  but  the  removal  of  a  moderate  piece  is  not 
fatal,  as  its  place  is  taken  by  a  scar  of  flesh.  The 
skull  of  the  bear  is  the  weakest  and  that  of  the 
parrot  the  hardest,  as  we  have  stated  in  the  proper 
placed 

XLIX.  All  blooded  animals  have  a  brain,  and  so  The  brain  .• 
also  have  the  sea-creatures  that  we  have  designated  c  ***  functions. 
the  soft  species,  although  they  are  bloodless,  for 
instance  the  polypus.^  Man  however  has  the  largest 
brain  in  proportion  to  his  size  and  the  most  moist 
one,  and  it  is  the  coldest  of  all  his  organs;  it  is 
wrapped  in  two  membranes  above  and  below,  the 
fracture  of  either  of  which  is  fatal.  For  the  rest  a 
man's  brain  is  larger  than  a  woman's.  With  all  human 
beings  it  has  no  blood  or  veins,  and  in  some  cases  no 
fat.  The  learned  teach  that  it  is  distinct  from  marrow 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

decent  quoniam  coquendo  durescat.  omnium  cerebro 
medio  insunt  ossicula  parva.  uni  homini  in  infantia 
palpitant,  nee  conroborantur  ante  primum  sermonis 

135  exordium,    hoc  est  viscerum  excelsissimum  custodi- 
tumque  •*•  caelo  2  capitis,  sine  carne,  sine  cruore,  sine 
sordibus.    hanc  habet  sensus  arcem,  hue  venarum 
omnis  a  corde  vis  tendit,  hie  desinit,  hoc  culmen 
altissimum,    hie    mentis     est    regimen,     omnium3 
autem  animalium  in  priora  pronum,  quia  et  sensus 
ante  nos  tendunt.     ab  eo  proficiscitur  somnus,  hinc 
capitis  nutatio;    quae  cerebrum  non  habent   non 
dormiunt. 

Cervis  in  capite  inesse  vermiculi  sub  linguae 
inanitate  et  circa  articulum  qua  caput  iungitur  numero 
xx  produntur. 

136  L.  Aures  homini  tantum  immobiles  (ab  his  Flac- 
corum  cognomina).    nee  in  alia  parte  feminis  maius 
inpendium   margaritis    dependentibus ;    in    Oriente 
quidem  et  viris  aurum  eo  locf  gestare  decus  existi- 
matur.      animalium    aliis    maiores    aliis    minores; 
cervis  tantum  scissae  ac  velut  divisae,  sorici  pilosae ; 
sed  aliquae  omnibus  animal  dumtaxat  generantibus 
excepto  vitulo  marino  atque  delphino  et  quae  carti- 

137  laginea  appellavimus  et  viperis:   haec  cavernas  tan- 
tum  habent   aurium   loco  praeter   cartilaginea   et 
delphinum,    quem   tamen   audire   manifestum    est: 
nam  et  cantu  muleentur,  et  capiuntur  attoniti 4  sono. 

1  sic  ?    vel   protectumque    Mueller   (proxmmmque  alii) : 
excelsissimumque. 

2  an  cavo  ut  IX.  163  ?  Mayhoff.  s  edd. :  omnibus. 
4  attenti  ?  Ractiham. 

a  Larvae  of  the  gad-fly.  *  IX".  78. 

e  Perhaps  the  text  should  be  altered  to  give  *  while  intent 
on,' c  absorbed  by ' :  cf.  Shakespeare, '  I  am  never  merry  when 
I  hear  sweet  music.' — *  The  reason  is,  your  spirits  are  attentive.' 
516 


BOOK   XI.  XLIX.  I34-L.  137 

because  boiling  makes  it  hard.  In  the  middle  of  the 
brain  of  all  species  there  are  tiny  little  bones.  With 
man  alone  the  brain  throbs  in  infancy,  and  does  not 
become  firm  before  the  child  first  begins  to  talk. 
The  brain  is  the  highest  of  the  organs  in  position, 
and  it  is  protected  by  the  vault  of  the  head ;  it  has  no 
flesh  or  blood  or  refuse.  It  is  the  citadel  of  sense- 
perception,  and  the  focus  to  which  all  the  flow  of  the 
veins  converges  from  the  heart  and  at  which  it  stops ; 
it  is  the  crowning  pinnacle,  the  seat  of  government 
of  the  mind.  But  the  brain  of  all  animals  slopes 
forward,  because  our  senses  also  stretch  in  front  of  us. 
It  is  the  source  of  sleep  and  the  cause  of  drowsy 
nodding ;  species  without  a  brain  do  not  sleep. 

Stags  are  stated  to  have  maggots  a  to  the  number 
of  twenty  in  the  head  beneath  the  hollow  of  the 
tongue  and  in  the  neighbourhood  of  the  juncture  of 
the  head  with  the  neck. 

L.  Only  man  is  unable  to  move  the  ears.  (The  The  ear. 
family  surname  Flabby  comes  from  them.)  Also 
women  spend  more  money  on  their  ears,  in  pearl 
earrings,  than  on.  any  other  part  of  their  person; 
in  the  East  indeed  it  is  considered  becoming  even  for 
men  to  wear  gold  in  that  place.  Some  animals  have 
larger  and  others  smaller  ears ;  only  stags  have  cleft 
and  as  it  were  divided  ears;  the  shrew-mouse  has 
shaggy  ears ;  but  all  species,  at  all  events  viviparous 
ones,  have  some  ears,  except  the  seal  and  dolphin, 
and  those  which  we  have  designated 6  cartilaginous, 
and  vipers :  these  have  only  holes  in  place  of  ears, 
except  the  cartilaginous  species  and  the  dolphin, 
although  the  latter  is  obviously  able  to  hear;  for 
dolphins  are  charmed  even  by  music,  and  are  caught 
while  bewildered  by c  the  sound.  Their  precise 

5*7 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

quanam  audiant  mirum.  idem  nee  olfactus  vestigia 
habent,  cum  olfaciant  sagacissime.  pinnatorum 
animalium  buboni  tantum  et  oto  plumae  velut  auris, 
ceteris  cavernae  ad  auditum;  simili  modo  squami- 
geris  atque  serpentibus.  in  equis  et  omni 1  iumen- 
torum  genere  indicia  animi  praeferunt,  marcidae 
fessis,  micantes  pavidis,  subrectae  furentibus,  reso- 
lutae  aegris. 

138  LI.  Facies  homini  tantum,  ceteris  os  aut  rostra, 
frons  et  aliis,  sed  homini  tantum  tristitiae,  hilaritatis, 
clementiae,  severitatis  index,    in  assensu  eius  super- 
cilia  homini  et  pariter  et  alterna  mobilia,  et  in  his  pars 
animi :    his 2    negamus,   annuimus,   haec    maxime 
indicant    fastum;     superbia    aliubi    conceptaculum 
sed  hie  sedem  habet:   in  corde  nascitur,  hue  subit, 
hie  pendet — nihil  altius  simul  abruptiusque  invenit  in 
corpore  ubi  solitaria  esset. 

139  LII.  Subiacent  oculi,  pars  corporis  pretiosissima 
et  quae  lucis  usu  vitam  distinguat  a  morte.      non 
omnibus  animalium  hi :  ostreis  nulli,  quibusdam  con- 
charum  dubii;  pectines  enim,  si  quis  digitos  adver- 
sum  hiantes  eos  moveat3  contrahuntur  ut  videntes,  et 
solenes  fugiunt  admota  ferramenta.    quadripedum 
talpis  visus  non  est,  oculorum  effigies  inest,  si  quis 

140  praetentam  detrahat  membranam.    et  inter  aves 

1  Mayhoff:  omnium. 

2  his  add.  EacJcham  (iis  Mayhoff). 

a  Or  perhaps  tracks  along  which  smell  passes,  '  smelling- 
organs.' 

518 


BOOK  XL  L.  137-Lii.  140 

method  of  hearing  is  a  riddle.  They  also  have  no 
indications  of  smell,a  although  they  possess  a  very 
keen  scent.  Of  feathered  creatures  only  the  eagle- 
owl  and  eared  owl  have  feathers  that  serve  as  ears, 
the  rest  have  apertures  for  hearing;  and  similarly 
with  the  scaly  creatures  and  with  snakes.  In 
horses  and  every  kind  of  cattle  the  ears  display  signs 
of  their  feelings,  drooping  when  they  are  tired, 
twitching  when  they  are  frightened,  pricked  up  when 
they  are  angry  and  relaxed  when  they  are  sick. 

LI.  Only  man  has  a  face,  all  other  animals  have  a  The  face  and 
muzzle  or  beak.  Others  also  have  a  brow,  but  only  features' 
with  man  is  it  an  indication  of  sorrow  and  gaiety, 
mercy  and  severity.  The  eyebrows  in  man  can  be 
moved  in  agreement  with  ijb,  either  both  together  or 
alternately,  and  in  them  a  portion  of  the  mind  is 
situated :  with  them  we  indicate  assent  and  dissent, 
they  are  our  chief  means  of  displaying  contempt; 
pride  has  its  place  of  generation  elsewhere,  but  here 
is  its  abode:  it  is  born  in  the  heart,  but  it  rises  to 
the  eyebrows  and  hangs  suspended  there — having 
found  no  position  in  the  body  at  once  loftier  and 
steeper  where  it  could  be  sole  occupant. 

LIL  Beneath  the  brows  lie  the  eyes,  the  most  ^«  eye. 
precious  part  of  the  body  and  the  one  that  distinguishes 
life  from  death  by  the  use  it  makes  of  daylight. 
Not  all  animals  have  these  organs :  oysters  have  no 
eyes,  and  some  of  the  shellfish  doubtful  ones,  as 
scallops,  if  somebody  moves  his  fingers  towards  them 
when  they  are  open,  shut  up  as  though  seeing  them, 
and  razor-shells  hurry  away  from  iron  hooks  brought 
near  them.  Of  fourfooted  creatures  moles  have  no 
sight,  although  they  possess  the  semblance  of  eyes 
if  one  draws  off  the  covering  membrane.  And 

5*9 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

ardeolarum  in1  genere  quos  leucos  vocant  altero  oculo 
carere  tradunt,  optimi  auguri  cum  ad  austrum  volent 
septentrionemve ;  solvi  enim  pericula  et  metus 
narrant.  Nigidius  nee  locustis,  cicadis  esse  dicit. 
cocleis  oculorum  vie  em  cornicula  bina  praetemptatu 
implent.  nee  lumbricis  ulli  sunt  vermiumve  generi. 

141  LIIL  Oculi  homini  tantum  diverse  color e,  ceteris 
in  suo  cuique  genere  similes,     et  equorum  quibusdam 
glauci;    sed  in  homine   numerosissimae   varietatis 
atque  differentiae,  grandiores,  modici,  parvi;  pro- 
minentes  quos  hebetiores  putant,  conditi  quos  claris- 
sime  cernere,  sicuti 2  colore  caprinos. 

142  LIV.  Praeterea  alii  contuentur  longinqua,  alii  nisi 
prope  admota  non  cernunt.     multorum  visus  fulgore 
solis  constat,  nubilo  die  non  ceraentium  nee  post 
occasus;     alii   interdiu    hebetiores,    noctu   praeter 
ceteros  cernunt.    de  geminis  pupillis,   aut  quibus 
noxii  visus  essent,  satis  diximus.3     caesi  in  tenebris 

143  clariores.    ferunt  Ti.     Caesari,  nee    alii    genitorum 
mortalium,  fuisse  naturam  ut4  expergefactus  noctu 
paulisped     haut    alio     modo      quam     luce     clara 
contueretur  omnia,  paulatim  tenebris  sese  obducenti- 
bus.     divo   Augusto   equorum  modo   glauci  fuere, 
superque  hominem  albicantis  magnitudinis,  quam  ob 

1  in  add.  Sittig.  z  Mayfioff :  sicut  in. 

3  VII.  16.  *  ut  add.  edd. 

o  I.e.  egrets.  *  VII.  16. 

520 


BOOK  XL  LH.  140-Liv.  143 

among  birds  the  variety  of  the  heron  class  called  in 
Greek  white  herons  a  are  said  to  lack  one  eye,  and 
to  be  a  very  good  omen  when  they  fly  North  or 
South,  as  they  tell  that  dangers  and  alarms  are  being 
dissipated.  Nigidius  says  that  also  locusts  and 
cicadas  have  no  eyes.  For  snails  their  pair  of  horns 
fill  the  place  of  eyes  by  feeling  in  front  of  them. 
Earth-worms  also  and  worms  in  general  have  no 
eyes. 

LIII.  Man  alone  has  eyes  of  various  colours, 
whereas  with  .all  other  creatures  the  eyes  of  each 
member  of  a  species  are  alike.  Some  horses  too  have 
grey  eyes ;  but  in  man  the  eyes  are  of  extremely 
numerous  variety  and  difference — larger  than  the 
average,  medium,  small;  prominent,  which  are 
thought  to  be  dimmer,  or  deep-set,  which  are  thought 
to  see  most  clearly,  as  are  those  with  the  colour  of 
goats'  eyes. 

LIV.  Moreover  some  people  have  long  sight  but  sight. 
others  can  only  see  things  brought  close  to  them. 
The  sight  of  many  depends  on  the  brilliance  of  the 
sun,  and  they  cannot  see  clearly  on  a  cloudy  day  or 
after  sunset;  others  have  dimmer  sight  in  the  day 
time  but  are  exceptionally  keen-sighted  at  night. 
We  have  already  said  enough  b  about  double  pupils,  varieties  of 
or  persons  who  have  the  evil  eye.  Blue-grey  eyes  see  ^* 
more  clearly  in  the  dark.  It  is  stated  that  Tiberius 
Caesar  alone  of  all  mankind  was  so  constituted  that 
if  he  woke  up  in  the  night  for  a  short  time  he  could 
see  everything  just  as  in  bright  daylight,  although 
darkness  gradually  closed  over  him.  The  late 
lamented  Augustus  had  grey  eyes  like  those  of 
horses,  the  whites  being  larger  than  usual  in  a 
human  being,  on  account  of  which  he  used  to  be 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

causam  diligentius  spectari  eos  iracunde  ferebat; 

144  Claudio  Caesari  ab  angulis  candore  carnoso  sanguineis 
venis  subinde  suiFusi ;  Gaio  principi  rigentes ;  Neroni,1 
nisi  cum  coniveret  ad  prope  admota,  hebetes.     xx  2 
gladiatorum  in  Gai  principis  ludo  fuere,  in  his  duo 
omrdno  qui  contra  comminationem  aliquam  non  coni- 
verent,  et  ob  id  invicti :  tantae  hoc  difficultatis  est 
homini,  plerisque  vero  naturale  ut  nictari  non  cessent, 

145  quos  pavidiores  accepimus.     oculus  unicolor  3  nulli : 
communi4  candore  omnibus  medius  colos  differ  ens. 
neque  ulla  ex  parte  maiora  animi  indicia  cunctis 
animalibuSj  sed  homini  maxime,  id  est  moderationis, 
clementiae,    misericordiae,    odii,    amoris,  tristitiae, 
laetitiae.   contuitu  quoque  multiformes,  truces,  torvi, 
flagrantes,  graves,  transversi,  limi,  summissi,  blandi : 
profecto  in  oculis  animus  habitat,     ardent,  inten- 

146  duntur,  umectant,  conivent ;  hinc  ilia  miseri  cordiae 
lacrima,  hos  cum  exosculamur  animum  ipsum  videmur 
attingere,  hinc  fletus  et  rigantis  ora  rivi.     quis  ille 
est  umor  in  dolore  tarn  fecundus  et  paratus  ?  aut  ubi 
reliquo   tempore?     ammo    aut  em   videmus,    animo 
cermmus ;    oculi  ceu  vasa  quaedam  visibilem  eius 
partem    accipiunt    atque    tramittunt.     sic    magna 

1  edd.  (Neroni  <caesii>  at  ex  Suetonio  MayJioff} :  Neronia. 

2  Urlichs:  xx. 

3  v.L  unicolore  (an  uno  colore  ?  Maylioff}. 

4  Mayhoff:  cum. 

522 


BOOK  XL  LIV.  143-146 

angry  if  people  watched  his  eyes  too  closely ;  Claudius 
Caesar's  eyes  were  frequently  bloodshot  and  had  a 
fleshy  gleam  at  the  corners;  the  Emperor  Gaius 
had  staring  eyes;  Nero's  eyes  were  dull  of  sight 
except  when  he  screwed  them  up  to  look  at  objects 
brought  close  to  them.  In  the  training-school  of 
the  Emperor  Gaius  there  were  20,000  gladiators, 
among  whom  there  were  only  two  that  did  not 
blink  when  faced  by  some  threat  of  danger  and  were 
consequently  unconquerable:  so  difficult  it  is  for  a 
human  being  to  stare  steadily,  whereas  for  most 
people  it  is  natural  to  keep  on  blinking,  and  these  are 
traditionally  supposed  to  be  more  cowardly.  No- 
body has  eyes  of  only  one  colour :  with  everyone  the 
general  surface  is  white  but  there  is  a  different 
colour  in  the  middle.  No  other  part  of  the  body 
supplies  greater  indications  of  the  mind—this  is  so 
with  all  animals  alike,  but  specially  with  man — 
that  is,  indications  of  self-restraint,  mercy,  pity, 
hatred,  love,  sorrow,  joy.  The  eyes  are  also  very 
varied  in  their  look — fierce,  stern,  sparkling,  sedate, 
leering,  askance,  downcast,  kindly:  in  fact  the 
eyes  are  the  abode  of  the  mind.  They  glow, 
stare,  moisten,  wink;  from  them  flows  the  tear  of 
compassion,  when  we  kiss  them  we  seem  to  reach 
the  mind  itself,  they  are  the  source  of  tears  and 
of  the  stream  that  bedews  the  cheek.  What  is  the 
nature  of  this  moisture  that  at  a  moment  of  sorrow 
flows  so  copiously  and  so  promptly  ?  Or  where  is  it 
in  the  remaining  time?  In  point  of  fact  it  is  the 
mind  that  is  the  real  instrument  of  sight  and  of 
observation;  the  eyes  act  as  a  sort  of  vessel  re- 
ceiving and  transmitting  the  visible  portion  of  the 
consciousness.  This  explains  why  deep  thought 

523 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

cogitatio  obcaecat  abducto  intus  visu,  sic  in  morbo 
14=7  comitiali  animo  caligante  aperti  nihil  cernunt.     quin 
et  patentibus  dormiunt  lepores  multique  hominum, 
quos  KopvpoLvriav  Graeci  dicunt. 

Tenuibus  multisque  membranis  eos  natura  com- 
posuit,  callosis  contra  frigora  calorisque  in  extumo 
tunicis,  quas  subinde  purincat  lacrimationum  salivis, 
118  lubricos  propterincursantia  et  mobiles.  LV.  media 
eorum  cornua  fenestravit  pupilla,  cuius  angustiae 
non  sinunt  vagari  incertam  aciem  ac  velut  canali 
dirigunt,  obiterque  incidentia  facile  declinant, 
aliis  nigri,  aliis  ravi,  aliis  glauci  coloris  orbibus 
circumdatis,  ut  et1  habili  mixtura  accipiatur  e2 
circumiecto  candore  lux  et5  temperato  repercussu 
non  obstrepat;  adeoque  his  absoluta  vis  speculi  ut 
tam  parva  ilia  pupilla  tot  am  imaginem  reddat  hominis. 
ea  causa  est  ut  pleraeque  alitum  e  manibus  hominum 
oculos  potissimum  appetant,  quod  effigiem  suam  in 
his  cernentes  velut  ad  cognata  desideria  sua  tendunt. 
149  veterina  tantum  quaedam  ad  incrementa  lunae 
morbos  sentiunt.  sed  homo  solus  emisso  umore 
caecitate  liberatur.  post  vicensimum  annum  multis 
restitutus  est  visus,  quibusdam  statim  nascentibus 
negatus  nullo  oculorum  vitio,  multis  repente  ablatus 

1  et  hie  Rackham :  post  mixtura. 

2  e  add.  Eackham. 
8  v.L  e. 

a  The  Kopvpavrcs  were  priests  of  Cybele,  who  was  wor- 
shipped in  Phrygia  with  frenzied  dancing. 


BOOK  XI.  LIV.  I46-LV.  149 

blinds  the  eyes  by  withdrawing  the  vision  inward,  and 
why  when  the  mind  is  clouded  during  an  attack  of 
epilepsy  the  eyes  though  open  discern  nothing. 
Moreover  hares  sleep  with  the  eyes  wide  open,  and 
so  do  many  human  beings  while  in  the  condition 
which  the  Greeks  term  '  corybantic.'a 

Nature  has  constructed  them  with  thin  and  multiple  Physiology 
membranes,  and  with  outside  wrappers  that  are  callous  °* the  ^ 
against  cold  and  heat,  which  she  repeatedly  cleanses 
with  moisture  from  the  tear-glands,  and  she  has  made 
the  eyes  slippery  against  objects  that  encounter  them, 
and  mobile.  LV.  The  horny  skin  in  the  centre  of  the 
eye  nature  has  furnished  with  the  pupil  as  a  window, 
the  narrow  opening  of  which  does  not  allow  the  gaze  to 
roam  uncertain,  but  so  to  speak  canalizes  its  direction, 
and  easily  averts  objects  that  encounter  it  on  the 
way ;  the  pupil  is  surrounded  with  circles  which  with 
some  people  are  coloured  black,  with  others  grey  and 
with  others  blue,  so  that  the  light  from  the  surroun- 
ding radiance  both  may  be  received  in  a  suitable 
blend  and  having  its  reflexion  moderated  may  not  be 
jarring ;  and  the  efficacy  of  the  mirror  is  made  so 
perfect  by  these  means  that  the  small  pupil  can 
reflect  the  entire  image  of  a  human  being.  This 
is  the  reason  why  commonly  birds  when  released 
from  men's  hands  go  first  of  all  for  their  eyes,  be- 
cause they  see  their  own  likeness  reflected  in  them 
and  try  to  reach  as  it  were  a  desired  object  that  is 
akin  to  themselves.  Beasts  of  burden  only  experience 
diseases  at  certain  phases  of  the  moon.  Man  alone  Cure  of 
is  cured  of  blindness  by  the  emission  of  fluid  from  the  bhndne"< 
eye.  Many  have  had  their  sight  restored  after  20 
years  of  blindness ;  some  have  been  blind  at  birth 
owing  to  no  defect  in  the  eyes ;  similarly,  many  have 


PLINY:    NATURAL  HISTORY 

sirrxili  modo  nulla  praecedente  iniuria.  venam  ab  his 
pertinere  ad  cerebrum  peritissimi  auctores  tradunt ; 
ego  et  ad  stomachum  crediderim:  certe  nulli  sine 

150  redundatione  eius  eruitur  oculus.     morientibus  illos 
operire    rursusque    in    rogo    patefacere    Quiritium 
magno  x  ritu  sacrum  est,